(Jan. 2, 2010)
The Reverend Edward A. Wetzel, 76, died of acute leukemia on Jan. 2, 2010, at his home in Powell.
He was born in New York City on June 11, 1933, the oldest of six children born to Edward Albert and Gertrude (Fitzpatrick) Wetzel. His childhood years were spent in Scarsdale, N.Y., where he attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Grammar School and Stepinac High School. Ed graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., in 1955. Following graduation from college he began a career in advertising. For twenty years he worked in the field, becoming an officer of two of the largest advertising agencies in New York City.
On Oct. 6, 1956, Ed married Carra Quinlan. Eventually Ed and his family moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he managed the office of another large advertising agency. In Dayton, in 1978, Ed almost died of alcohol dependence. After several months of physical recuperation, Ed began the second half of his life, devoting his energies to his own recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous and to the recovery of those he could help. He became a substance abuse counselor and worked at treatment facilities in Georgia and Virginia. He was most involved with those whose addictions had led them into the criminal justice system.
In 1995, Ed and his wife, Carra, moved to Powell to be near their son and his family. Ed assisted in developing the Park County Drug Court and served as the coordinator during its formative years.
His spiritual journey led him to St. John's Episcopal Church. There he was called by the congregation to enter ordained ministry. Ed was ordained a priest in January 2008 and had served as a local priest at St. John's for the past two years. Ed also served on the board of the Park County Library Foundation and, at the time of his death, was a member of the board of the Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic.
What Ed most appreciated in his life were his family, his sobriety and his ordination to the priesthood. Ed's courage, faith and dignity throughout his illness have been an inspiration to all his family and friends.
Ed's father, mother and youngest sister, Jeannie Kover, preceded him in death.His funeral service will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, at 11 a.m. Following the liturgy, his remains will be buried at Crown Hill Cemetery. Donations to the Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic would be greatly appreciated by Ed and his family.
Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.thompsonfuneral.net.