James E. Wetzel, 77
James E. Wetzel passed away at home surrounded by his family Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, at the age of 77. He was the beloved husband of Doris; loving father of Melinda (Jay) Grotelueschen, Dawn Okon and Lisa (Randy) Vollmer; and loving grandpa of Elizibeth and Jacob (Lynsey) Grotelueschen, Angela, Joshua and Christopher Okon, and Angus and Tawny Vollmer. He was also loved by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
James was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Lila Wetzel; brothers, Howard and William Wetzel; his grandson, Joshua Okon; and his niece, Debra L. Maenpaa.
At the age of 19, Jim was the drummer in the Kenny Kotwitz band that was chosen to play on the Lawrence Welk Show. He proudly served his nation in the U.S. Navy. Jim was a welder at Harnischfeger for 32 years. He was a very funny man with a winning smile and he loved to make people laugh.
In retirement he spent his time on woodworking projects, playing musical instruments and exercising at the Y. He also enjoyed riding his bike, gardening and taking cooking and other classes. He took a trip to Japan to visit where he was stationed while in the Navy.
At Christmastime he would be seen ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. He was an avid square and round dancer.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m.-noon Monday, Sept. 19, at Still Waters Community United Methodist Church (361 Scenic Road, Jackson, WI 53037) with services to follow. Burial will be in Wisconsin Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Interfaith Care Givers or the Wounded Warriors Project are appreciated.
We would like to extend a special thank you to Heartland Hospice for their care and being there for us.
The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family.
Online guestbook and condolences are available at www.schmidtfuneralhome.com.