Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
William “Red” Wetzel Memorial
William “Red” Wetzel Memorial

William “Red” Wetzel

William “Red” Wetzel

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

    William “Red” Wetzel, 85, died on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 surrounded by his family.  He was born on June 22, 1928 to Myles and Violet (Widmer) Wetzel in Pitman, Pennsylvania, the oldest of six children.  He was baptized in St. William’s Catholic Church in Gardiner, Montana in 1955 and married Jeanette Reardon in Clontarf, Minnesota on June 6, 1956.

    For 32 years, “Red” worked for the National Park Service, maintaining the buildings, roads, trails and campgrounds in Yellowstone, Kings Canyon, Death Valley and North Cascades National Park.  In Yellowstone and Kings Canyon he was also responsible for the care, shoeing, vet needs and assignments of the 80+head of horses used by each park. He planned, built and maintained the roads, trails and campgrounds in the newly formed North Cascades National Park.

    Bill was a devoted Catholic and enjoyed many family functions. He served as a lector, Eucharistic minister, and church council member at Immaculate Heart of Mary and always prayed for his children and grandchildren at daily Mass. He especially liked to take care of the maintenance needs of whatever parish he lived in.  He was also active in the Knights of Columbus.  He was a hard worker and a Master Composter.  He loved gardening, fishing, hunting and recycled everything, even way back in the 1970’s.   His motto was “use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.”  He was an avid reader and strongly encouraged his family to pursue higher education.

    Bill is survived by his wife of almost 58 years, Jeanette Wetzel; four daughters Jennifer (and Don) Strand of Clear Lake; Rebecca (and Byron) Roberts of Irmo, South Carolina; Rachel (and Dean) Youngquist of Mount Vernon; Stephanie (and Bruce) Landsem of Lake Elmo, Minnesota; and one son, Steven (and Candace) Wetzel of Ellensburg; grandchildren: William Strand, Mary Burt, Janette Smith, Anne Harvey, Sarah Ali, Putnam Roberts, Thomas Youngquist, Elizabeth Reese, David Youngquist, Clara, Zoey, Lily, and Jack Wetzel, Rachel, Andy, Joey, and Anna Landsem; and  14 great-grandchildren; sisters Ruby Bellis and Evelyn McDanel, brothers Bob and Dick Wetzel and special neighbors Pat and Glenice Hanna and family.  He was preceded in death by an infant son William “Billy” Joseph Wetzel, his parents and brother Ralph.   

    Mass of Christian burial will be at 10:30am on Wednesday, May 28 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 719 Ferry Street, Sedro-Woolley.  Father Martin Bourke will officiate.  Interment will follow at the Sedro-Woolley Union Cemetery. A vigil rosary will be Tuesday, May 27th at 7:00 pm in the church.  A time of visitation will be available on Sunday from noon to 2 pm and on Tuesday from 9 am to 1 pm.

    Memorial contributions can be made in Bill’s name to Immaculate Conception’s New Church Building Fund, 215 E. Division, Mount Vernon, WA  98273 or Pregnancy Choices for Concrete Office, 617 W. Division Street, Mount Vernon, WA  98273.  


  • Merlene Buller

    Dearest Jeanette and all the family,
    I am so very sorry. Red was one of the finest co-workers anyone could have, and my good memories of our time together at North Cascades–on the job and in the community with our families are heartwarming to me. In the trust your own abundant good memories will help sustain you all, know that you are on my mind and in my heart.

  • Scott E. Jensen

    I am deeply saddened of the passing of a great man, and fine neighbor and even better friend. My family has known the Wetzel family nearly 40 years. All of us express our sincerest sympathies to Jeanette, Jennifer, Becky, Rachel , Steve , and Stephanie. Red Wetzel gave 100% to his job, community and most of all, his family. Red will be dearly missed.
    With Love and Respect, All of the Jensen Family

  • Dona Herr

    Dear Bills family,
    I remember Bill hurrying about & sometimes carrying his clipboard. He always had time to talk & listen.
    His listening ear will be missed. A gentle man & gentleman will describe him…always ready to help.

    My prayers are with you & yours…..may he rest in peace…he’s there in all your hearts!!!
    Dona Herr

  • Bill and Patsey Blunt

    To the Wetzel Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Sincerely, Bill and Patsey

  • Donna Fennell Gode

    Dear Jeanette and family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your fammily.

  • Darlene Woiwod (Strand)

    Jennifer, Don and famillies:

    Sorry to read about the loss of your father. We are thinking of you at this difficult time. In thoughts and prayers.

  • Margo McGeary Ascheman

    Jeanette and Family Just a note as I called Mary Langan today to wish her a Happy Birthday and she told me of Bills Death… God Bless and will visit you later…. Love Margo McGeary Ascheman

  • Toni Martich Lecorchick

    When our family went through the death of our mom & dad, Bill was there to help us through that difficult time. May that same kind of love help you now.

  • Laura Sobiech

    Dear Wetzel Family,
    I had the privilege of meeting Bill just once, but have admired his faith and zeal for life through Stephanie. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you say goodbye to this dear man.
    Peace & Blessings from Minnesota,
    Laura Sobiech

  • Mike Price& Tracy Mahoney

    Mike and I met Grandpa Retzel at Caitlin and Tom’s wedding last fall. We mentioned that we had heard he had worked at National Parks and he smiled when he confirmed that he had worked at several. We told him that we loved the parks and visit various ones every year and thanked him for his good work. He seemed very gentle, yet strong and we know his absence will be a great loss to the family.

  • Chuck and Toni Ruhl

    Dear Jeanette and family…..Chuck and I send our thoughts and prayers your way. Please know you are loved.

  • Donald Herrold

    Dear Mrs. William Wetzel,
    You do not know me but I am a friend of Evelyn.
    My blessings to you and your family.

    Don Herrold Millersburg, PA

  • Gloria Hoffman

    When you come into a “new” community, it is very difficult to feel comfortable with all the new faces.
    Being Hispanic among almost all non-Hispanic people, was especially difficult. Enter Bill Wetzel. He was
    welcoming, friendly and encouraging. It is because of him and Father Dan that I became a lector for daily Mass.
    I didn’t hear about his passing until Friday morning right before I was to read in his place and I was shocked and saddened until I thought maybe I would not be able to read, but I remember that he would not have liked for me to
    not finish what I was supposed to do. I will miss him very much at daily Mass and at our coffee hour after. May
    God bless you all.

  • kenneth o. hoffman

    bill was a great guy, he served his family,his church and his fellowman. he gave every ounce of his energy to help others. i will miss him like a brother. may god bless his family. k.o.h

  • Marlyn Perry

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Lowell and I remember Bill fondly and are very sad for his loss to us but know he is now busy in heaven still working for us all. All my boys remember Bill fondly and have enjoyed his love of hunting and fishing. Lowell especially enjoys remembering the Mn hunting trip up north for whitetails. I especially enjoyed him as a big brother when I was a teenager and stayed with Jeanette and Bill for two summers. He was so patient and I’m sure I was a real trial at times. I probably paved the way for you girls as he learned what a teen girl could be like! Know you are in our thoughts and prayers in these hard days.

  • Evelyn McDanel

    Dear Jeanette, girls and Steve and families,
    Blessings for your needs at t his time. Love, Evelyn

  • Mary Langan

    Our deepest sympathy to Jeanette and all the family from all the Langan family. We all loved and admired Bill. He was a wonderful part of our family and inspired us all to be better people. He was a excellent example of a good Catholic. We always knew we could depend on him for anything we needed. Our thoughts and prayers will be with all of you during this difficult time. Love to all the Wetzels.