Kenneth Gary Wetzel

PrintPrint
Jul 4 1938
Jan 9 2022
83 Years
Parkesburg, Pennsylvania

Kenneth Gary Wetzel, 83, of Parkesburg, passed away on Sunday, January 9, 2022 at the Chester County Hospital in West Chester, PA. He was the beloved husband of Diane Riddell Wetzel with whom he shared 61 years of marriage. Born in Shippensburg, PA, he was the son of the late Kenneth G. Wetzel and N. Mildred Newcomer Wetzel.

Gary grew up in Shippensburg and was a 1956 graduate of the Shippensburg High School. After graduation from high school, he continued his education at Shippensburg University graduating in 1960. Soon after, he was employed by the Octorara School District where he remained as a teacher for 33 years.  He also coached boys basketball for 30 years, received the Coach of the Year Award, and was inducted into the Octorara Athletic Hall of Fame.  He truly loved teaching and coaching!

Gary served his community and was a 57-year member of the Parkesburg United Methodist Church, where he served as a Trustee, Treasurer, Usher, and a member of the Church Finance and Audit Committees. He was also a member of the United Methodist Men and was on the Borough Council from 1966-1971.  Additionally, he delivered Meals on Wheels for many years.

Gary lived each day to the fullest on his own terms.  He was an avid sportsman who enjoyed hunting and believed fishing was more than just a hobby – it was a way of life.  He enjoyed being in his garden, and planned early, worked tirelessly, and shared the fruits of his labor with family and friends.  He loved the beauty of this country and believed travel was an important form of education.  He passed on his love of nature and travel to his children through camping.  Gary was always up for a card game.  He could be so competitive, that you were happy if you beat him even if you didn’t win the game.  He loved sports and when he wasn’t playing, he was watching or listening to a game. Countless people fish, garden, camp, play sports, play cards or work in business fields because they were a part of Gary’s life. 

He is survived, in addition to his wife Diane, by three children; Kristin Wetzel Maser and husband Dean of Lancaster, PA, Allen Wetzel and wife Kelly of Gap, PA and Stacey Wetzel Bayley and husband Chad of Westminister, CO, seven grandchildren; Matthew and his wife Jessica, Kathlyn and Haley Maser, Cole and Macey Wetzel and Hayden and Reagan Bayley and two great-grandchildren; Cami Lynn Shaub and Annalyn Rose Wetzel.  He was preceded in death by his brother, Douglas Eugene Wetzel. He is survived by two sisters-in-law, Carol Wetzel and Sharon Clarke, and several nephews.

He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend who was generous with the most important thing – his time. 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, May 7th, 2022 at 11 AM at Parkesburg United Methodist Church, 411 Main St, Parkesburg, PA 19365, with a visitation from 9:30 AM until the time of the service.  

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in Gary's memory to either the Parkesburg United Methodist Church or Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by donating online by clicking HERE or through the mail by printing out a form HERE.  

Arrangements have been entrusted to Wilde Funeral Home of Parkesburg. Online condolences can be posted at www.wildefuneralhome.com 

Condolences

Loved Mr. Wetzel being my basketball coach in High School.  Remember his smile in the hallways of Octorara!.  Always fair and a teacher that help make me a better person!

Back to top

Mr. Wetzel was hands down my favorite teacher at Octorara may he rest in peace.  

Lots of Love,

Dené Lewis

 

 

 

Back to top

I remember when Mr. & Mrs. Wetzel came to Octorara to teach; what a beautiful couple they were.  Although I didn’t have Mr. Wetzel in class, Mrs. Wetzel taught me shorthand & typing; a skill that enabled me to have a long career and retirement.  But I always knew that Mr. Wetzel was just as special as his wife.  Hugs and love to your family ..

Back to top

Mr. Wetzel was one of my favs at Octorara.  Business classes and Business Math Senior year, Mr. Wetzel made relevant to real life!  -Pam Bannon-Miller

Back to top

Sending prayers to the whole family.  Gary was my favorite teacher and a great neighbor.  Many memories of Allen and Stacey, as they were at my home often with my kids, David and Kelly.  May God give you the strength to get through the days ahead.

Back to top

I think I’ve known Mr. and Mrs. Wetzel my whole life through growing up in Parkesburg, high school and church. Always smiling and a zest for life. Not going to lie, hated his class, but loved him as a teacher. Always a fun person to be around. Much Love to you all❤️

Back to top

To Diane and family:

Sadly note the passing of high school classmate and hunting buddy.  Gary carried the banner of the Class of '56 "Enter to Learn and Leave to Serve" with enthusiasm.  His dedication to service is an example for all to follow.  Rest knowing your job here was well done.

Back to top

We are so sorry for your loss.  Mr. Wetzel had a way of energizing our neighborhood and he will be sorely missed.  I know my mom and dad and brothers will miss his company on third avenue.  I remember shucking corn with him under the tree in the summertime and thanks to him we had fun playing street hockey out front after he spray-painted goals on the road.  And when my daughter was very little she would giggle when she watched Mr. Wetzel mow the lawn without his shirt on.  My parents would watch him on his tractor.  Mr. Wetzel even made shoveling snow a fun and social event - and gave us a lesson in kindness as he always took care of the neighbors who couldn't shovel.  Mr. Wetzel was a great teacher and I have told the story many times that if it wasn't for him, I would have failed business math in college.  I could say more, but I'll just say that he truly will be missed, and Diane, Kris, Allenn and Stacey, we are so sorry for your loss. 

Back to top

Dear Mrs Wetzel and Family-

You are in my thoughts and prayers.  Mr Wetzel was my absolute favorite teacher at Octorara.  And just a great, kind, and caring person.

Love-  Lisa Wilde

Back to top

Was sad to hear of Mr. Wetzel passing, but like to remember the old Roman saying "Not all is lost in death, something always remains!".  This is a fitting statement to Mr. Wetzel and the countless lives he touched as a teacher, coach, and citizen.  Still remember him calling me "CZ" and as a coach telling me to "Stop admiring what you almost did, and get your head in the game!"  Still try to live by those words today.  Thanks Mr. Wetzel - Rest in Peacel  and see you on the other side!   Czar

Back to top

Condolences to the family of Mr. Wetzel, we attended the Methodist Church in Parkesburg to enrich our personal relation with our LORD and Savior for eternal rest.    Rest in Heavenly Peace.    

Back to top

Wetzels, So sorry to hear of Coach’s passing. My brother let me know about it since I’m not in the area anymore. I still have my ‘86 district champs commemorative jacket in my closet here in Louisiana after 3 moves and 36 years. Even though I rode the bench much of that year, I still remember him calling me up with about 30 seconds left to play in the first round of states when there was no chance left for a win. When I protested he said “ Get in there and play- some day you’ll have a great story to tell your grandkids”. I still remember his yelling as we ran back to play defense- Hands Hands Hands!!! 
I appreciate the time he spent instilling values into us teaching us how to live life and not just to play basketball. 

Even though I didn’t have him as a teacher I’m blessed to have had him as a coach. 
Blessings to you all as you grieve His passing. Praying God’s peace and comfort for you all as you celebrate his life. 
Kevin Watterson
 

 

Back to top

 

 

 

Dear Diane,  Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as you mourn the passing of your Hero!  While reading the numerous condolences, it is quite obvious that Gary was loved and respected in all aspects of his life.  A beautiful tribute!    My memories of Gary are at the Bridge Table. It was fun being his partner.   He loved the game as I do.    
Diane, may you and your family find peace and strength in knowing that others care and share in your sadness.

Love 

Pat DeVitto

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to top

I can hear his voice like it was yesterday,"Chetty, put the ball back up strong, big as you are and don't put it on the floor." This man touched many in this area. It was a pleasure knowing him. RIP coach.

Back to top

Mr. Wetzel was by far my favorite teacher at Octorara. I had him for 2 years of bookkeeping, and he was very fair to all of his students. I had and still have the utmost respect for him. What a wonderful man! Class of 1973!!
Mary Miller

Back to top

 

 

Dear Diane, Kriss, Stacey & Allen - It has been an honor for me to be able to call Gary “Friend”. He was a great family man, teacher, coach, crabber, fisherman & gardener. He was always happiest on his boat with a fishing rod in his hand! He truly loved his family & was so proud of all of you. He always made me feel welcome. He caught the largest flounder I have ever seen & baked it to perfection! He took such joy in the simplest of things. He enjoyed sharing the harvest from his garden with his friends. He even took his fishing rod to Mexico for Shawn Dale’s wedding. If you couldn’t find him around the motel, all you had to do was walk down to the beach & there he’d be in the surf angling for fish. What a great life he had. He lived it to the fullest!!!

Denise (Neicie) Smallwood Miller

 

Back to top

I know all of us from over the mountain have heavy hearts with losing uncle Gary. Too many memories to write...fishing the first weekend with everyone is indelibly etched on my mind. After loosing my dad uncle gary and I began to call and talk every couple weeks. This meant more to me than I can explain. Topics ranged from trout fishing, coaching, how the flounder were biting to how the Red Beets were doing-he grew the best red beets I'd ever had! I can still hear him say " Hey Boy"
God Speed Uncle Gary. From all of us.
The Wetzel's

Back to top

We send our Heartfelt sympathies. What a beautiful obituary. I never had Mr. Wetzel in class but remember his larger than life presence in the hallways and at basketball games. I can still picture him. To you all, peace and comfort.

 

 

Back to top

My sincere sympathy to you Diane and to your family.  My heart is broken for you all.  With love and sadness, Jeanne Pless

Back to top

I loved  Mr. Wetzel. Every time that I came to the Methodist Church, he would be the first person that I would look for. He had the greatest smile and would welcome me with the biggest hug. Even though I have been gone from Parkesburg for more than 30 years he always made me feel that he was so happy to see me. He was truly one of the best. 

Back to top

Sorry to hear the passing of a great teacher. My thoughts and prayers go to the family . 

 

 

 

Back to top