William "Bill" Orville Wetzel, 87, of Mountain Home, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, at a Mountain Home care center.
A viewing will be held on Monday, Oct. 8, from 2-4 p.m. at Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel. A graveside service with military honors will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 11 a.m. at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise. Arrangements are under the direction of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel
Bill, an only child, was born to William and Bettye Wetzel on March 28, 1925, in Porterville, Calif. He graduated high school in Tulsa, Okla., where he was raised by his grandparents.
In May 1943, Bill enlisted into the U.S. Air Force Cadet Program. By the time he finished his training; he had grown too tall to be a pilot and was unable to fly his dream machine, the P-38 fighter plane. He then trained in armaments and ended up flying 35 combat missions in a B-29 over Japan in 1944-1945. During his time in the service, he served in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
On Jan. 18, 1946, in Wichita, Kan., Bill married the love of his life, Louella Margene McGuire.
On Sept. 30, 1967, Bill retired after 27-plus years of service at Mountain Home Air Force Base.
He was an avid outdoorsman and had many wonderful life experiences. He lived life to the fullest and included his family and friends in the memories he created.
Bill is survived by his devoted wife, Margene, four children, Jane Anne Garver and spouse Gary, Judith Carol Wetzel, Jerry Oneta Little and spouse David, William Michael Wetzel, and spouse Bobbie, nine grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.