Marion Daisy Wetzel
The Westfield Starbucks lost a loyal customer on May 27, 2017, when Marion Daisy Wetzel died at home at the age of 91 after a short illness.
Marion Crook was born on May 25, 1926 in Coney Island, New York, where her parents, Irving and Florence Crook, raised Marion and her older brother, Robert. Marion was just 15 when the America entered WWII. Marion's life revolved around the war: performing in USO shows, going to USO sponsored dances, and delivering coffee to the soldiers who kept watch along the shoreline for German U-Boats. The family's apartment was known as "Crook's Inn," because soldiers could get a cup of coffee there night and day.
After the war ended, she went to work at New York Mutual Life and made her way up the clerical ranks. Then one evening at a rooftop dance in Manhattan, she met Charles "Pete" Wetzel. Within a year they married and eventually had three daughters, Dorothy Lee, Diane Reeve, and Florence Frances. The family moved from Queens Village, New York to Westfield in 1965. They became members of the Westfield Presbyterian Church shortly after their move to Westfield.
A self reported "indifferent" student during high school, Marion later went on to get an Associates Degree from Union County College and a BS in accounting from Rutgers School of Business in the early 80s. She took a job doing expatriate taxes at Coopers & Lybrand, and she proudly did her own taxes until the age of 90.
What most people remember about Marion was her love of travel. Her wanderlust started in childhood, when she and her mother would board buses and travel around NYC with no particular destination. As a young woman she traveled in war-torn Europe and experienced Cuba in its heyday. Marion climbed inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, camped out with the Pygmies in Africa, and was held up at gunpoint in Uganda. She infected her whole family with the travel bug, including her beloved grandchildren who traveled with her to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Alaska, France, Egypt, and Africa.
Marion was an enthusiastic member of the Westfield YMCA, including the Y's monthly book club. She was also a member of the College Women's Club of Westfield and the Friends of the Westfield Memorial Library.
Marion is survived by her daughters Dorothy Wetzel of Millburn, New Jersey, and Florence of Westfield, New Jersey; her grandchildren Alexander Charles and Flora Jane Wetzel Sugarman; her son-in-law Dan Sugarman; as well as her two nieces, Jeri Hamrick Salter of Round Rock, Texas, and Melinda Hamrick of Powhatan, Virginia. Marion is also deeply mourned by her silky terrier, Lucky, and tuxedo cat, Mooch.
Her husband Charles Arthur Wetzel, daughter Diane Reeve Wetzel, her brother Robert Lee Crook, and her parents Florence and Irving Crook predeceased her.
Marion lived a long, wonderful life and was not afraid of death, often saying, "Soon I will be going on the greatest trip of my life." Her friends and family just hope there is a Starbucks up in heaven waiting for her.
Arrangements by Gray Funeral Directors, Westfield. You may go to grayfuneralhomes.com for on line condolences.
A memorial service will be held at Westfield Presbyterian Church at noon on June 18. In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to:
Karma Cat and Zen Dog Rescue Society
PO Box 242
East Brunswick NJ 08816