Emery James Wetzel

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Emery James Wetzel

Birthplace: Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana, United States
Death: February 15, 2015 (80)
Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana, United States (Parkinson’s disease)
Immediate Family:

Son of Emily Wetzel and Mary Elizabeth Wetzel
Half brother of Cora Margaret Wagner

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Emery James Wetzel

Emery James Wetzel was born to Emery and Mary Wetzel on November 25, 1934 in Billings.

Emery lived a life marked by consistent faithfulness. Above all, he strived to do all things to the glory of God as he followed his savior, Jesus Christ. He always was an active participant in his church and served as choir director for numerous years and in church leadership. He also was a member of The Gideons International.

Emery was a family man to the core. Upon graduating from Wheaton College in 1957 with a degree in business and economics, Emery turned down a scholarship to pursue his master’s to come home and help his ailing parents at the family business, Wetzels Quality Cleaners. At that time, the business begun by his father in 1915 was a very small operation. Emery returned and worked with his parents till his father died in 1959. From there, Emery poured his energies into continuing the legacy begun by his father. He would later say he recognized that he didn’t have the resources to be the biggest cleaners so he determined to strive to be the best cleaners in Billings, a goal he maintained to the end. In 1960, Emery married Joyce Johnson. They had two children, Scott and Kimberly and from that point the family was often together at the cleaners with their extended “family” of employees. Emery loved to have family meals together and almost without exception ate breakfast and dinner with Joyce and his kids. Much of their family life took place in the context of the family business, teaching Scott many things about maintaining and improving a business and taking the kids all over town on delivery runs. Even to the end of his life when much activity had been lost due to Parkinson’s Disease, he still called daily to check in on his kids and the business. This year marks the business’ 100th anniversary and on the foundation of what Emery built is still going strong. He was also a very proud grandpa to William, Annabelle and Henry and always loved to have them near. As he often said, he loved to be with his people.

Emery also loved his community. Over the years he served on many boards including Public Utilities, Family Services, Downtown Billings Association, Downtown Property Owners, and Downtown Billings Rotary Club. He enjoyed being a part of all these organizations and especially enjoyed all the friends he made through these groups.

Emery’s love of music was evident throughout his life. As a student at Moody Bible Institute, he went with the Moody Chorale on a singing tour of the British Isles. This trip which took him to so many places and introduced him to so many people remained a highpoint for him all his days and inspired him to share his love of music with others. Besides the church choir, he loved to lead his Rotary club in singing at their weekly meetings and he did much to encourage his children to pursue music as well.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce; son Scott (Robyn) and daughter Kimberly, and grandchildren William, Annabelle and Henry.

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Emery James Wetzel's Timeline

November 25, 1934
Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana, United States
February 15, 2015
Age 80
Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana, United States