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1929 Charles 2013

Charles A. Wetzel

November 3, 1929 — March 22, 2013

Charles Arthur (Pete) Wetzel died in his sleep at age eighty-three on March 22, 2013, at ManorCare in Mountainside while rehabilitating from pneumonia. He passed away from cardiac dysrhythmia. He was known to family and friends as "Pete." Family lore has it that the nickname came from the 1931 Fatty Arbuckle comedy film Pete and Repeat. Pete was born November 3, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents, Wallace Patterson (Dutch) and Margaret Geraldine (Jerry) Wetzel raised Pete and his older sister Betty in the neighboring town of Lansdowne. After graduating with an English degree from Ursinus College, he served in the Korean War as an Army Private, stationed in Germany. After returning from the service, he joined his parents as they lovingly restored a farm in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, in their retirement. He traded in the cornfields of Kutztown to pursue an MBA from New York University in New York City. It was on his second night in New York City that he met his future wife, Marion Daisy (Mickey) Crook, at a rooftop dance at the 53rd Street YMCA. They got married less than a year after meeting on March 2nd, 1957. They had three daughters, Dorothy Lee, Diane Reeve, and Florence Francis. The family moved from Queens, New York, to Westfield in 1965 to be closer to the family farm. He was a loving father and family man, coming home every night on the 6 pm train to have dinner with his family. Weekends were spent going to potluck dinners at the Westfield Presbyterian Church, introducing his daughters to New York museums, or visiting the beloved Kutztown farm. He also enjoyed many summers camping trips with his sister and her family in Virginia where he mesmerized his three daughters and two nieces with his inventive campfire stories. Pete loved animals and he loved New Orleans jazz and even played the clarinet as a youth. He began what became a long and successful career as a Securities Analyst at Value-Line. He was a Certified Financial Analyst. He later moved to Paine Weber in 1963 where he was nicked named "the Prophet" for his uncanny ability to predict the direction of the stocks he followed. In 1971, he moved to Citibank as a Buy-Side analyst where he had the foresight to heavily invest the bank in the burgeoning fast food industry (he loved Big Macs until the day he died). He capped off his career at the age of sixty-seven as a partner in Chancellor. An inveterate traveler, he and his wife traveled to over 140 different countries during his lifetime. He climbed inside the great pyramid in Egypt, camped out with the Pygmies in Africa, and was shot at as one of the first tourists to return to Cambodia in the mid-1990s. He instilled the travel bug into all of his family, first his children and later his grandchildren, taking them to exotic places such as Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and Africa. He is survived by his wife, Marion D. Wetzel of Westfield New Jersey; his daughter Dorothy Wetzel and her husband Dan Sugarman, along with their children Alexander Charles and Flora Jane Wetzel Sugarman, all residing in Millburn New Jersey; his daughter Florence Wetzel of Denver, Colorado, as well as his two nieces, Jeri Hamrick Salter of Round Rock, Texas, and Melinda Hamrick of Powhatan, Virginia. He is predeceased by his daughter Diane Wetzel in 2010, his sister Elizabeth Wetzel Hamrick in 2012, and his parents, Margaret Geraldine and Wallace Patterson Wetzel. Pete will receive a private burial at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield on Friday, April 5, under the direction of the Gray Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at the Westfield Presbyterian Chapel on April 7 at 3 pm (the chapel is located at 140 Mountain Avenue in Westfield, New Jersey). His family wishes to thank all the physicians, nurses and health aids that helped him through his last year, particularly those at ManorCare. Condolences can be sent to dorothywetzel@comcast.net. Memorial donations can be made to the World Wildlife Fund (legacygifts@wwfus.org or P.O. Box 97180, Washington, DC 20090-7180).
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