George Charles Wetzel, 81, Corvallis, Oregon, died Thursday, January 26, 2017, at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.
George was born March 20, 1935 in McCook, to Leon Seaver and Freda Bell Scharf Wetzel. He grew up in Curtis, where he attended the University Of Nebraska School Of Agriculture and met his future wife Joan Hathaway. George and Joan were married on September 15, 1956 In Lincoln.
George attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and graduated from the University Of Minnesota School Of Mortuary Science. Following graduation, George did his mortuary internship with Johnson Funeral Home in Kearney. George and Joan moved to Valentine where he worked for Watts Funeral Home. The couple returned to Curtis in 1960 where he joined his father at Wetzel Funeral Home and International Harvester dealership, where between them, they provided funeral services for a total of 70 years. George and Joan raised their family in Curtis and were an integral part of the community.
George was instrumental in the founding of the Frontier County Ambulance Service and was on the ambulance board. He was a volunteer fireman and EMT. He was on City Council, the Library Board and the Star Theater board. He was also active in the Curtis Easter Pageant from its inception, portraying Judas for many years, then directed the Living Pictures for several years. He enjoyed being part of the Curtis Fall Festival, was an active member of the United Methodist Church, helping build the new church. He also helped with the construction of Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course. George was a Mason and an Elk.
He was an avid golfer, gardener and reader.
George was preceded in death by his sister, Wilma, brother-in-law Dale Rust and brothers-in-law Wayne and Turner Hathaway. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joan Hathaway Wetzel, his children, Diane, Martin (Sharon Hammer) and LeeAnn (Donna Strigle), grandchildren William, Olivia and Eva.
The Funeral service will take place this summer, because as George said, January funerals are too dang cold. He was a gentle, funny and a loving man, and will be missed. A lot.
Memorial contributions may be designated to the Curtis Public Library.
Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00pm, Friday, June 30, 2017 at the United Methodist Church in Curtis, NE.
Blase-Wetzel-Strauser Memorial Chapel is in charge of services.