Michael M. Wettstein, Sr.

Michael M. Wettstein, Sr., 86, died Monday morning, April 22, 2013 at St. Agnes Hospital with family at his side, after a brief illness and more extended period of declining health.

Mike was a devoted family man, much loved by his wife and children, and a person of great faith.  That faith provided the basis for his perspective on life and helped see him through life’s challenges with acceptance, grace and humor.

Mike was born on May 17, 1926 in Fond du Lac, the youngest child of Michael A. and Josephine Marcoe Wettstein.  He married Mary Ann Drom on May 26, 1951 at St. Joseph’s Church in Fond du Lac; they were married for 55 years. 

Mike was a 1944 graduate of Fond du Lac Senior High School.  He played tackle for the storied 1943 Cardinal football team coached by Mike Calvano, winners that year of the Fox Valley Conference Championship.  Fond du Lac had not held the title for more than two decades.

Mike served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946, including service in the Pacific Theatre.  Throughout his lifetime he remained very proud of his military service and was grateful to have been able to play a part in the U.S. war effort during World War II.

In 1946 Mike joined his older brothers Leo and Roy on the staff of the former Fond du Lac Building and Loan Association, a firm founded by their father in 1927.  The business was later known as the Fond du Lac Savings and Loan Association and finally, Community Savings and Loan.  Mike received early business education at the Fond du Lac Business College.

During his 39-year career at the savings and loan, Mike served as teller, loan processor, saving’s administrator, corporate treasurer and secretary-treasurer.  He was a member of the association’s board of directors from 1957 to 1983.  He was also an officer of the Wettstein Insurance Agency, a Community Savings subsidiary.  Mike attended the graduate school of Savings and Loan at Indiana University, and served as president of the Eastern District of Wisconsin League of Financial Institutions.

After his retirement in 1989, Mike enjoyed helping Mary Ann in many of her endeavors, including Fond du Lac Festivals and Walleye Weekend.   He assisted her in doing research for the original “Talking Country Roads” series of audiotapes she wrote for the Fond du Lac Convention & Visitors Bureau, spending many hours driving the area’s scenic byways.  He also served as chief proofreader for Mary Ann’s 1998 history of local Catholic parishes.  In his most important role, Mike was a devoted spouse who provided the ultimate in love and support during Mary Ann’s long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. 

A longtime member of St. Joseph’s parish, Mike’s activities there included service as finance chairman and member of the parish council.  He was a member of the Fond du Lac Noon Optimist Club for many years and volunteered with the Fond du Lac Historical Society.  He was an active participant in the activities of his high school class of 1944, and through the years was pleased to join his classmates in planning their reunions and for other get-togethers.

Mike loved singing and he loved listening to music, especially semi-classical, music of the 1940s era, and Big Band music.  He enjoyed working in his yard, fishing when he had the opportunity, listening to the radio and following the Brewers, the Packers and UW Wisconsin sports teams.

Mike is survived by his children, Clare Wettstein of Fond du Lac, Michael Wettstein, Jr. of Appleton; Anne (Nikola) Subotic of Ann Arbor, MI, and John (Carrie) Wettstein of Shorewood; and his three grandchildren, Kacha Subotic of Ann Arbor, and Lily and Gus Wettstein of Shorewood.  Also surviving are his sister-in-law, Evelyn Wettstein of Fond du Lac, and his nieces and nephews.

Mike was preceded in death by his wife Mary Ann, in December of 2006, his parents, an infant daughter, Kathryn Mary Wettstein, brothers Leo Wettstein and Roy Wettstein, sisters Mildred Tack and Lucile Wettstein, sister-in-law Lois Wettstein and brother-in-law David Tack.

Visitation:  Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25 and again from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Friday at Zacherl Funeral Home, 875 E. Division St., Fond du Lac.

Services:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 26 at Sacred Heart Church, 200 S. Peters Ave.   Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.

Memorials in Mike’s name may be directed to Holy Family Catholic Church or St. Mary’s Springs Academy.

The family extends special thanks to Melissa Kieckbusch, Mike’s morning companion and helper for the past 6 months, to Ray Olshefski, his afternoon helper the past two weeks, and to the dedicated and caring staff of St. Francis Home, where Mike spent three months on the rehabilitation floor last year.

Zacherl Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family.  www.zacherlfuneralhome.com