Roland H. Wetzel

April 29, 1923 - July 20, 2016 Oxford, PA | Age 93 Loving Husband, Father, and Grandfather

Roland H. Wetzel, age 93, died peacefully at home on July 20, 2016 after a slow decline following surgery. He was born April 29, 1923 in Hartford, Wisconsin, to William Wetzel and Bertha (Uber) Wetzel. He grew up in Hartford and moved to Milwaukee where he graduated from Shorewood High School, where he met his wife of 71 years, Muriel E. Auler. After two years attending the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, he enlisted in the Navy V-12 program, which allowed him to complete his B.S. at U. Wisconsin, Madison. Upon graduating he went to Midshipmen’s School at Columbia University and was commissioned Ensign.

The Navy sent him to various specialized training schools then assigned him to the newly constructed heavy cruiser USS Oregon City. He married Muriel June 13, 1945 and she accompanied him to various state-side locations until he went aboard ship. He was honorably discharged in June 1946 and returned to U. Wisconsin and earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering under the GI Bill. After graduating in August 1951 he took employment at DuPont Company in Wilmington, DE, where he remained until retirement.

He is the holder of several U.S. patents. His work involved product and process development on white and colored pigments, high purity titanium, zirconium, and niobium metals, semi-conductor silicon, mineral processing, and environmental concerns related to these. He retired in June 1978.

He was an active member of Avondale Presbyterian Church, where he served as an Elder. He was an Election Judge and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society, DeMolay, Masons, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, and four professional and social fraternities (Theta Chi, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and Phi Lambda Upsilon).

Since retiring he has pursued interests in family, home, church, travel, gardening, fishing, and woodworking. He lived in Landenberg, PA from 1958 until 2004 when he and Muriel moved to Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford, PA.

He is survived by his wife Muriel, 93, son Peter, 67 and five grandchildren, Adrian, Riki, Janel, Brandon and Ellen. His younger son James preceded him in death in February, 2015.

You are invited to visit with Roland’s family and friends from 6-8 PM Wednesday July 27, 2016 at the Foulk & Grieco Funeral Home Inc. (610-869-2685) 200 Rose Hill Rd. West Grove, PA 19390. Interment will be held privately at New London Presbyterian Cemetery.

A Memorial Service celebrating his life will be held 11AM Saturday July 30, 2016 at Avondale Presbyterian Church 420 Pennsylvania Ave (Route 41) Avondale, PA 19311. In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Roland may be sent to the Building Fund, Avondale Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 446, Avondale, PA 19311.

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Avondale Presbyterian Church Building Fund

Avondale Presbyterian Church
P.O. Box 446
Avondale, PA 19311

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July 27, 2016 6-8PM Foulk & Grieco Funeral Home
200 Rose Hill Rd.
West Grove, PA 19390

Memorial Service

July 30, 2016 11AM Avondale Presbyterian Church
420 Pennsylvania Ave
(Route 41)
Avondale, PA 19311


  1. oops! The word in the poem is Beggarly Boy

    Roger Timothy Wetzel | July 24, 2016 at 11:20 AM
  2. I appreciate Marilyn’s reference to the “Wetzel Boys” Three decent men. Three family men. Three hard workers. The engineering and gardening stories would be varied, unique, but a common theme in their lives.

    I remember Uncle Rollie sharing a story about the trials and tribulations of including mica chips in paint to create the metal flake effect.

    Fish Story. Hunter’s Lake. My brother Jeff and Uncle Rollie make an appearance about 9pm one night carrying a two foot northern pike. Their happiness, their grins, etched and priceless. A life is good moment.

    Erwin had a Lowwell poem I think from Hartford English class. This is Erwin’s version:
    When I was a berrarly boy
    And lived in a cellar damp
    I had not a friend nor a toy
    But I had Aladdin’s Lamp

    When I could not sleep for the cold
    I had fire enough in my brain
    And builded with roofs of gold
    My beautiful castles in Spain

    Since then I have toiled day and night
    I have money and power good store
    But there is not a thing I would not give
    For the lamp that is mine no more.

    Uncle Roland is now gone, but his light still shines in my memory.

    Roger Timothy Wetzel | July 24, 2016 at 11:17 AM
  3. I grew up thinking that Roland and Muriel were a wonderful set of uncle and aunt.
    It took me years to figure out the second cousin twice removed relationship that actually defined our relationship.
    And perhaps I need to review Peter’s wonderful genealogy book to make sure. Peter, we bring that book to every
    family gathering. I try to update it as much as I can. And today I will have to add Roland’s obituary. Sad.
    I did know that Roland and his two brothers were always welcomed when they visited
    my parents here in Hartford and their wives were just as special.
    Going through lots of old pictures I have come across pictures from the California shore
    when my parents visited the California Wetzels as they were called.
    The Illinois Wetzels and the DuPont Wetzels in the East were also represented in vacation pictures.
    Dear Muriel, you were so welcoming when I was in college in DC and I came up for Thanksgiving.
    So many good times are a tribute to you and to Roland and the Wetzel Boys as they were affectionately called
    in this house.
    In tribute to Roland I will pay a visit to the grave of his parents which is about four blocks from where I live
    here in Hartford WI. My mother maintained the grave while she was alive and told stories of these dear folk
    who were part of my life when I was little. When they visited, there was always a rather large paper bag for me and in it was a rather large candy bar.
    The gravesite is fine. Very shady and the inscription still clear. This year our Historical Society is holding a tour
    of this cemetery and I will ask to present the Wetzel story and tell the story of the Wetzel Boys and their parents.
    God bless you and Roland who is now at peace.

    marilyn raschka

    marilyn raschka | July 22, 2016 at 4:59 PM

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