In Memory of George "Hoppy" Wetzel

March 19, 1949 - August 27, 2018

March 19, 1949  -  August 27, 2018 

George "Hoppy" Wetzel, 69, of Minong died Monday, August 27, 2018 at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, MN. He was born March 19, 1949 in Rice Lake, WI to Raymond and Ada (Amundson) Wetzel. As a youth, George was very taken by the cowboy Hopalong Cassidy, which is how he earned his nickname. He graduated from Rice Lake High School in 1967. He attended UW-Barron County for 2 years, then earned a position at WK Appliance in Spooner. In 1970, Hoppy married Barb Jacobson of Spooner, and the union produced 2 children. They later divorced. In 1971, he began working as a lineman for Dahlberg Light and Power in Solon Springs until 1985, and then again from 1992 until retiring in 2014. During the interim, he worked for Barron Electric Cooperative in Barron. He was married in Spooner, WI on October 25, 1993 to Lorraine Sue (Scott) Money. 

Hoppy served his community in many ways for over 50 years, including as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, and achieved the honor as the first ever recipient of Wisconsin Firefighter of the Year in 1974 and then again in 2015. He was also a Melvin Jones Award recipient for the Minong Lions Club and delivered meals on wheels. He raced dirt track in the 1960's and 70's then superstock on dirt tracks as #92 in the 1980's and 90's. Hoppy enjoyed hunting, fishing and tending to his hobby farm. Hoppy's unique rendition of "Happy Birthday" was a true experience if you were fortunate enough to see him on your special day! His spirit and influence will be greatly missed by many who he mentored.

He is survived by his wife, Lorrie; 3 children: Carrie (Joe) Ress of Ridgeland, Jennifer Wetzel-Petersen of Minong and Peter Money of Eden Prairie, MN; 7 grandchildren: Dalton (Alicia) Ress of Menomonie, Kayla Ress of Ridgeland, Bradley Ress of Ridgeland, Destiney Wetzel-Petersen of Frederic, Morgan and Michael Otten of Minong, and Davian Wetzel of Minong; siblings: Joan Swanson of Rice Lake, Donna (Mike) Nickell of Rice Lake and Roy (Chris) Wetzel of Rice Lake; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Hoppy was preceded in death by his parents. 

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM Thursday, August 30, 2018 at Bethany Lutheran Church with Pastor Grant Aaseng officiating with burial to follow at Faaberg Cemetery in Cameron. A memorial visitation will be held for 1 hour prior to the service at the church. There will also be a celebration of life held at the Minong Fire Department beginning at 4:00 Thursday with dinner served at 5:00.

Last Update: Dec 16, 2018 5:45 pm CST

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