Jackson “Jack” E. Wetzel, 86, of Pleasant Lake, Indiana, passed peacefully into the arms of his Lord and was reunited with his loving wife, Sylvia, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, at Parkview Randalia in Fort Wayne.
He was born on March 23, 1934, in Weston, West Virginia to Lawrence D. and Reatha O. (Dawson) Wetzel.
Jack moved from West Virginia to Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of three and graduated from Western Hills High School, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1952. In the 10th grade, he met Sylvia List, and a lasting and loving relationship was born. He enjoyed relating memories of their glory days of fraternities, sororities and high school fun to family and friends.
Jack married Sylvia Jeanne List on Aug. 16, 1952, in Cincinnati, Ohio. They began a family soon after, which quickly grew to five children. Working through school in a co-op program, he graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
Jack held many positions throughout his career. He began working for Janesville Cotton Mills shortly after graduating, moving the family from Cincinnati to Norwalk, Ohio. He then went to work for Clevite Corporation in Milan, Ohio, rising to the position of plant manager. In 1971, he was transferred to Angola, Indiana, to start a satellite plant for Clevite that is now Tenneco Automotive. Eventually, his dream of owning his own company came to fruition in Plastic Processors, Inc., Hamilton, Indiana. He retired in 2008 after 37 years, handing over the business to his youngest son, Jay.
Jack and Sylvia began to travel throughout the United States and world in the late 1990s and visited 65 countries, decorating their home with many souvenirs of their trips.
He loved airplanes, cars and his farm. Many an afternoon was spent watching planes take off and land at the Cleveland airport as a young man. He accomplished his dream of flying and owning his own plane as well as owning a Corvette and Model T Ford, which he and Sylvia enjoyed driving in many parades. Sitting on his deck, he enjoyed viewing the beauty of nature.
Jack was active in many organizations and enjoyed making donations to causes he believed in.
He was chairman of the American Red Cross in Sandusky, Ohio and head of the United Way Fund in Milan, Ohio. He served on the Zoning Appeals Board in Angola, Indiana, and was a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for 50 years. He was interested in genealogy and provided DNA testing for himself, Sylvia and the five children. He loved visiting with the great-grandchildren and had a special place in his heart for little ones. He was immensely proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved gathering the family around his huge dining room table.
He is survived by his five children: Patricia (Lynn) Brooks, of Auburn, Indiana, Pamela (Bruce) Harrison, of Middletown, Indiana, Jackson (Beth) Wetzel, of Fort Worth, Texas, James Wetzel of Longwood, Florida, and Jay (Dawn) Wetzel, of Pleasant Lake; 14 grandchildren, Gregory (Audrey) Brooks, Jeffery (Lisa) Harrison, Stephanie (Dominic) Moreno, Elizabeth (Stewart) Amburger, Melissa Harrison and fiancé, Jake Parrott, Jeremy (Stephanie) Wetzel, Hannah (Britton) Dickey, Lauren (Jesse) Adalpe, James Matthew Wetzel, Jason (Esmeralda) Wetzel, Jonathan Wetzel, Derek (Carley) Wetzel, Brittney (Shane) Crowl and Jacob Wetzel; and, 16 great-grandchildren.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 64 years, Sylvia J. Wetzel, and a brother, Lawrence D. Wetzel.
Services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, at Feller and Clark Funeral Home, 875 S. Wayne St., Waterloo, with visitation from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday prior to the service at the funeral home. Pastor Dean Blimline will be officiating.
Burial will take place at Hamilton Cemetery in Hamilton.
Visitation will take place from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, at the funeral home.
Memorials may be directed to the Butler United Methodist Church or American Caner Society.
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