Obituary of Mary Margaret Wetzel
Peg Wetzel, December 17, 1939 — May 5, 2023
Mary Margaret McLaughlin Wetzel was best known simply as Peg. She grew up on the family farm, Apple Ridge Farm, riding horses and helping raise cattle, chickens, and pigs. At age 10 she found herself on the cover of national magazine Polled Hereford World showing her prized steer Kilroy. Her family’s social activities centered around church, 4-H, and school.
School came naturally to Peg and she loved it. She took initiative in guiding her own studies while attending a one-room school house with her brother and sister outside Salem, IL. This self-initiative continued to serve her throughout life as anyone who ever attended her Sunday School classes could attest.
When the family moved to Macomb, IL in 1955, Peg began attending Western High School where she quickly made her mark as a majorette, cheerleader, trumpet player, and dancer, and caught the eye of a spry young basketball player named Alan. After he walked her home from an evening at the church-sponsored Teen Canteen, their future lifelong journey together sprouted wings.
Peg and Alan married on June 2, 1957. By 1970 they had four children and opened their own grocery store in Colchester, IL. Peg was highly active within the community and especially at the United Methodist Church where she led bible study, VBS, and youth group.
Life took an unexpected turn and moved them to Sioux Falls, SD in 1980. Soon after, Peg’s love of learning drew her back to school and in 1985 she earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Augustana College. That same year, another move took them to Liberal, KS where she taught High School English. After moving east to Rocky Mount, NC five years later, she dove into the world of finance and became a financial advisor with Edward Jones, opening her own office in South Hill, VA in 1993. They then found themselves in Oklahoma City for seven years before moving to Tucson, AZ in 2003 to care for their son Mike who had been diagnosed with ALS. They made Tucson home and, as always, she gave of herself to church by teaching bible study, VBS, and more. She enjoyed two decades with Alan in the Arizona sun.
Peg was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2019 with an added diagnosis a year later of Progressive Supra Nuclear Palsy. Even on the hardest of days, not a single moment went by that she wasn't walking with God. Then on May 5th, He walked her home. Peg left this world the same way she entered it — through the breath of God. Her faith was breathed into her the moment she was born and with every breath until her last, she lived her faith fully.
Peg is survived by her husband of 66 years, Alan Wetzel; her children Rick (Bobbette) Wetzel, Cindy (Barry) Dickinson, and Laura (Jim) Cech; 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She is preceded by her parents Don and Florida McLaughlin, brother Dick McLaughlin, and son Mike Wetzel. A memorial service will be held Friday, June 2nd at 1pm at Christ Presbyterian Church, 6565 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson AZ 85710. In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the Youth of CPC in memory of Peg’s years of work with youth throughout her life.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Wetzel, please visit Tribute Store