BOONSBORO Robert Lee Wetzel, 89, of Boonsboro, passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 8, 2018, at Sterling Care (formerly Reeders) in Boonsboro.
Born on June 11, 1928, in Fort Ashby, W.Va., he was the son of Hilda M. Pyles Wetzel and Ralph Wetzel, both of whom preceded him in death.
Bob was a teacher, coach, businessman, elected official and teacher advocate.
A graduate of Frostburg State University in 1959, he taught at Boonsboro High School for all of his 36 years in education. He also earned a master's degree from the University of Maryland. He taught science, history, mathematics, driver's education and health and physical education before he was named the Diversified Occupations Coordinator in 1972.
During his tenure at BHS, he coached basketball for 20 years (1959-60 to 1979-80) first as junior varsity coach under Frank Keyser and then 16 years as head coach of the Warriors. He was responsible for commissioning a local artist to create the current Warrior symbol, which hangs today in the high school gym. Bob retired from teaching in 1995.
A graduate of Fort Ashby High School, he lettered in basketball, football, baseball and track. He was drafted in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He served in the Army Security Agency at Fort Devens, Mass., where he attained rank of sergeant during his two years of service.
He worked fulltime for the Western Maryland Railroad and coached basketball in the Cumberland Church League while attending Frostburg State.
Bob was elected to a two-year term on the Boonsboro Town Council in the early 1970's; and served eight years on the town's Planning Commission, was president of the Boonsboro Lions Club, and chaired the Washington County Judicial Nominating Commission.
As teacher advocate, Bob served as president, grievance chairperson and political action committee chairperson of the Washington County Teachers (now Education) Association.
He had a long and abiding interest in politics and helped to organize and direct campaigns for candidates running for both local and state office.
Along with his family, he owned Coach's Liquors (now Antietam Spirits) in Boonsboro from 1986-2002. Along with members of his family, he also developed and operated a high-tech placement business, Jobs Unlimited, in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Barbara Blass Wetzel, of Boonsboro; three children, Debbie S. Wetzel Nycum and her husband, David, of Hagerstown, Rob L. Wetzel and his wife, Toni of Rohrersville, and Randy L. Wetzel and his wife, Lori of Hagerstown; grandchildren, Hope R. Wetzel Routzahn and her husband, Jayme L. Routzahn, of Keedysville, Heather R. Wetzel Wysong and her husband, Ross A. Wysong of Grasonville, Ryan L. Wetzel of Parkville, and Madison E. Wetzel and Grant W. Wetzel of Hagerstown; great grandsons, Anthony J. Hoffman and Jayme L. Routzahn Jr., of Keedysville; his first wife, Pauline E. Wetzel of Boonsboro, the mother of his children, and cousin, Patricia Streett of Fort Ashby.
Besides his parents he was predeceased by a half-sister, Joanne Wetzel; and half-brother, David Wetzel.
A dog lover, he also will be missed by Rigby, his fifth miniature Schnauzer.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, at Bast-Stauffer Funeral Home in Boonsboro. The Rev. Ronald Kurtz will officiate. Burial will be in Boonsboro Cemetery. A gathering of friends and family will follow at Mt. Nebo United Methodist Church in Boonsboro.
Pallbearers will be members of his family, Ryan and Grant Wetzel, Jayme and Jayme Jr. Routzahn, Anthony Hoffman and Ross Wysong.
Family will receive friends from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, at the funeral home. (Please note that the time of the visitation was incorrect in a notice that appeared in Friday's newspaper.)
Memorial donations may be made to Boonsboro Ambulance & Rescue Company, PO Box 7, Boonsboro, MD 21713, First Hose Co. of Boonsboro, 5 St. Paul St., Boonsboro, MD or Boonsboro Green Fest, PO Box 64, Boonsboro, MD 21713. Pre-addressed envelops will be available at the funeral home.
The family would like to thank everyone who has sent cards and messages throughout his illness and subsequent stay at the nursing home.
Expressions of sympathy may be offered to the family at StaufferFuneralHome.com.
Published on February 9, 2018