Donald Truman Wetzel, age 79 of Plainfield, Illinois, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on March 20, 2017.
Born on the family farm in Couch, Missouri, on June 22, 1937 to Ralph and Jane (Hoyt) Wetzel, Don spent an idyllic youth working the farm with his family.
He was a star basketball player at Couch High School in the early 1950’s and rumor has it, may have set some school records.
Don graduated from the United States Air Force ROTC program at University of Missouri with a degree in Engineering and immediately married his high school sweetheart, Betty Ann on June 20, 1959. The next six years were spent as a Captain in the Air Force stationed in Ramstein West Germany, where he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, Outstanding Unit Award, and President’s Unit Citation.
Upon entering civilian life, Don enjoyed a successful 30+ year career as an engineering company executive with Ralston Purina, Davy McKee, Sverdrup and Raytheon. In 1981, Don earned an MBA from the London School of Business.
A man of many interests, Don was a world traveler, avid outdoorsman, enjoying canoeing (on his beloved Eleven Point River), fishing and pheasant hunting, along with cooking and tending his vegetable garden in the summer. He was also an active member of the Friendship Baptist Church in Plainfield, Illinois.
Don will be deeply missed by his family who he loved and cared for immensely.
He was preceded in death by his parents, beloved sister, Cheryl Ann (Wetzel) Swisher and brother, Ralph Duane Wetzel.
Don is survived by his loving wife, Betty Ann (Benbenek) Wetzel of Plainfield, Illinois; his son, James Douglas Wetzel and wife, Robyn of Northbrook, Illinois; daughter, Kathleen (Wetzel) Mozdzierz and husband, Walter of Chicago, Illinois; daughter, Margaret (Maggie) Wetzel and fiancé, Victor Maggio of Oak Lawn, Illinois; grandchildren, Brittany Wetzel of Chicago, and Marisa and Sam Wetzel of Northbrook; sister, Marita (Wetzel) Bray and husband, Joe of Marshall, Missouri, sister, Marilyn (Wetzel) Schofield and husband, Don of Columbia, Missouri, sister-in-law, Jeanie (Sutton) Wetzel of Ellington, Missouri, brother-in-law, Joe Swisher of Philadelphia, Missouri and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Wounded Warrior Project.
Funeral services for Donald Wetzel will be held at 3:00 PM on Sunday, March 26, 2017, at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer, Missouri, with Brother Richard Robinson officiating.
The family will receive friends from 12:00 PM until service time on Sunday, March 26, 2017, at the Carter Funeral Home in Thayer.
Interment will be in Thayer Cemetery with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer, Missouri.