Marie Antoinette Wetzel, 101, of Little Silver, NJ, died on March 3, 2014, at her home in Little Silver. Marie grew up in New Brunswick, NJ, and lived for over sixty years in Milltown, NJ before moving to Little Silver about six years ago.
Marie was born on June 30, 1912, in New Brunswick to John and Rose Boyle, graduated from Saint Peter’s elementary and high schools, was married to William John Wetzel, and the mother of William Robert Wetzel. She was known as Nana to her grand- and great-grandchildren and many of their friends. Marie was raised from about age six by Lillian and Jacob McMurtry and grew up with their adopted daughter Doris McMurtry Reed, all of whom predeceased her.
Before the birth of her son, she was employed for many years as a telephone operator by New Jersey Bell Telephone Company and later at a number of other locations before returning to Jersey Bell until her retirement as a supervisor in 1978.
Marie was active in the Milltown PTA, the Milltown Mobile Hospital Unit, the AT&T Pioneers, and the Milltown Senior Center. She attended Saint Peter’s Church in New Brunswick, in her childhood, was a regular parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Milltown, and later attended Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven, NJ, after she moved to Little Silver.
She is survived by her son, William Robert Wetzel and his wife, Wendy, of Little Silver; grandchildren Rebecca Wendy Sodon and her husband, Robert, of Atlantic Highlands, NJ; Scott William Wetzel and his wife, Caroline, of Milford, CT; and William John-Richard Wetzel of New York, NY; great-grandchildren Malcolm Lembert Seemann and Evelyn Marie Seemann and their father Hank Seemann, of Bayside, CA; and Belle Marie Sodon of Atlantic Highlands. She is also survived by Jacquelynn Reed Mecca Purcell, daughter Doris and Herbert Reed, and grand daughter of her surrogate parents, Lillian and Jacob McMurtry. Among Marie’s many beloved nieces and nephews, Jamie Cost was frequent companion.
She was predeceased by her granddaughter Suzanne Wetzel Seemann; husband William John Wetzel; siblings John Boyle, Mae Boyle Camp, Ann Boyle Marshall; parents Rose Barrett Boyle and John Boyle; half-siblings Bertram Lynch and Lillian Lynch Mogor; stepfather Michael Lynch.
In addition to her family Marie enjoyed the companionship of several close friends including Clair Casey, Grace Riha, Louise Apicella, all of whom predeceased her by many years, and Helen Chaki, her last-surviving friend of her own generation, who died just hours before Marie.
Marie cherished the love of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was active in their upbringing. She was immediately welcomed by all of the people she met and was especially close to Bill and Wendy’s friend, Steve Schoggen, one their many friends who loved her greatly. She served as an extra grandmother to the children of several friends and relatives.
Marie enjoyed extended visits with her great-grandchildren, Malcolm and Evelyn, in Wisconsin and later in California, visits at the Harbor House and hoisting a pint at birthday celebrations in Falmouth, MA, with Wendy’s brother, Andy Hocker and his wife Nina; and the Chalkeys in Chatham, MA. In earlier years she traveled by ship to Europe visiting Holland, Germany, Switzerland, France, and later visited Spain, Morroco, Greece, and Hawaii.
Marie loved to cook, especially desserts. She was famous for her lemon-meringue pie. She made sure that anyone she fed, and there were many, enjoyed a hot, delicious, hearty meal. She enjoyed talking on the phone, going out with friends and family, dancing, the beach, crocheting and sewing. She was social and gracious with a great love of life and an Irish feistiness that stayed with her into her last days.
She will be missed by the many people whose lives she affected so positively.
The viewing will be on the evening of Friday, March 7, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated on the morning of Saturday, March 8, at 10:00 AM at the Church of the Nativity, 180 Ridge Road, Fair Haven, NJ.
Interment will be at Saint Peter’s Cemetery, 500 Somerset St, New Brunswick, NJ, at approximately 12:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial gift to the Suzanne Wetzel Seemann Geography Endowment in honor of Marie’s late granddaughter, Suzie. Contributions can be made payable to “HSU Advancement Foundation,” with a notation for the endowment, and sent to Humboldt State University Advancement Foundation, 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, CA 95521-8299.