James "Jim" Wetzel, 76, our father, grandfather, and friend, passed away August 13, 2019. Jim was born in Rockford and married his high school girlfriend and first love, Susan Lindquist Wetzel, after graduating from West High School. They spent 44 years together and raised two daughters, Carolyn Wetzel and Deanna (Wetzel) Didier before Susan's passing in 2008. Jim was a man of commitment - to his beloved Marine Corps to his work at Greenlee Tool Company (which eventually became Textron) to his love of fishing. In 2006, he realized his dream of retiring to his home on Lake Sara in Effingham. It was then that he learned that crappies were a lot easier to catch in southern Illinois than bass. He also passed along his love of lake life to his grandchildren by tirelessly dragging them around the lake on an inner tube, teaching them how to fish, and cooking them 'grandpa steaks' on the grill every time they visited. His lucky grandchildren include Katie and Jessica Woodrick and Amanda and Stephanie Didier. He is also survived by his sons-in-law, Walter Woodrick and Andy Didier.
In 2010, Jim married his second love, Gerry Powell Wetzel, and spent the remainder of his years happily living out his lake dream with her. Together, they had many close friends and special times on Lake Sara. Her three sons (Tom, Tim, and Mike Powell) and six grandchildren (Thomas, Wesley, Willow, Ella, Leah and Timothy Powell), were also an important part of his life during those years.
Everyone loved spending time with Jim; he had a sense of humor and a zest for life that will be missed. He could fix anything, he could make anyone laugh, and he always knew the answer to any Trivial Pursuit question about history or geography. 'Trust me; I know I'm right' was his mantra.
In honor of Jim, there will be a Celebration of Life service on October 12 at 2:00 p.m. at Bauer Funeral Home, 1212 W Evergreen Ave, Effingham, IL. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Effingham Animal Rescue Society (E.A.R.S.), P.O. Box 1737, Effingham, IL 62401, or Steven Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, New York 10306.
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Published on August 23, 2019
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1 posts

jane Emmerich
Sep 02, 2019
Gerry,, We are so sorry to kknow of Jims passing. We didn't know him well, but how he's is leaving many friends at the lake, .You was so right for him and had a wonderfull marriage. We won't be able to come to the Memorial, he wii be in our prayers.
Jane and Don Emmerich