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1928 Howard 2014

Howard Duane Wetzel

April 9, 1928 — May 27, 2014

Howard Duane Wetzel, 86, of Grand Island, Nebraska died peacefully surrounded by family at St. Elizabeths hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska on Tuesday May 27, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. after complications of a stroke.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 30, 2014 at Trinity Lutheran Church 212 West 12th Street in Grand Island, with Rev. Jack Gillam officiating. Burial will be in the Grand Island Cemetery followed by a luncheon at Trinity Lutheran Church. Visitation with the family will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Apfel Funeral Home located at 1123 W. 2nd in Grand Island.

Howard was born in Grand Island, Nebraska the son of Charles G. and Mathilda (Schroeder) Wetzel on April 9, 1928. He was third generation Nebraskan. His grandparents Charles G. Wetzel and Anna Marie (Schmidt) Wetzel both immigrated from Germany and his grandfather started a homestead in 1882 near the Ravenna and Boelus area.

Survivors of the immediate family include, his daughter, Annette Wetzel of Lincoln, NE, son Terry and Patti Wetzel of Overland Park, KS and, sister, Joan (Wetzel) Patrick and brother-in-law Ken Patrick. Also left to cherish his memory are two grandchildren Jenna Wetzel, Ryan Wetzel and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis M. (Storrs) Wetzel (2006), his parents, Charles G. Wetzel (1982) and Mathilda M. (Schroeder) Wetzel (1942), brothers Donald T. Wetzel (1967) and Charles G. Wetzel (2013).

Howard was baptized on May 6, 1928 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grand Island and was a devoted life-long member attending Trinity Lutheran grade school and was confirmed in the Lutheran faith on March 29, 1942. Howard served many leadership roles within the church and was an usher for more than 60 years. He graduated from Grand Island Senior High in 1946.

He entered the United States Army and joined the Korean conflict on October 17, 1950 and served as a corporal until August 16, 1952 and transferred to Army Reserves on August 17, 1952. Howards Honorable Discharge was issued on August 15, 1956. He proudly received his VFW and American Legion pins for 60 years of service on March 6, 2012.

He was united in marriage to Phyllis Marie Storrs on Christmas Eve December 25, 1956 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grand Island performed by Pastor O.A. Graebner. The couplewere married just short of 50 years when Phyllis passed in May 2006. The couple made their home in Grand Island their entire married life.

Howard, his father, Charley, brother, Chuck and, sister, Joan co-owned Wetzel Distributing Company, a wholesale beer company from 1946 to 1993. As well as being co-owner, Howard was also the professional driver for the family business spending countless hours on the road from Grand Island to Milwaukee and Peoria. He continued his love of driving for many years into retirement shuttling cars for rental car companies and dealerships. In 1950, he won the Nebraska State truck driving competition and was slated to go to nationals in New York City when he was drafted into the Korean Conflict.

He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Veterans of Foreign War, American Legion Club and Platt-Duetsche. He enjoyed a good game of cards, a cold beer, Nebraska football and Major League baseball with his son and grandson. Hell be remembered for his strong faith, love of

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Howard Duane Wetzel, please visit our flower store.


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