Lawrence E. "Larry" Wetzel, Sr., 73, of Erie, Pa., died on Friday, March 13, 2020, at Western Reserve Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center. He was born on January 11, 1947, in Erie, son of the late Edward B. and Gladys Baughman Wetzel.
A 1964 graduate of Tech Memorial High School, he attended Gannon University for two years where he studied mechanical engineering. Larry was a veteran of the U.S. Army. He served during the Vietnam War, stationed in Germany. Larry was a truck driver for Falcon Transport for 17 years, retiring in 2011. He previously worked for Bucyrus-Erie and Urick Foundry in Erie and for Insley Manufacturing in Indianapolis, Indiana. He had also been a bus driver for EMTA. Along with his wife, he owned and operated Lucky Strike Cafe on 22nd and Ash Streets for 13 1/2 years.
He was a member of VFW Billy Simpson Post 470, Waterford American Legion and the Grandpa Bowling League. Larry was an avid camper and Bingo caller at Family Affair campground for many years. He was a member and past president of the Erie Mustang Club, was a NASCAR and Indy Race fan, a Pittsburgh Steeler fan, and enjoyed hunting and snowmobiling.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Ernest Eugene Wetzel.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Mildred Kelly Wetzel; four sons, Michael Morgan (Jody), Brian Morgan (companion Sandra Bretschneider) and Larry Wetzel, Jr. (Dustie), all of Erie and Greg Wetzel (companion Dawn Wolfe) of McKean, Pa.; daughter, Linda Morgan Longstreet (companion Ray Canchola) of Saegertown, Pa.; and sister, Eileen Blake (Gil) of Cranberry, Pa. He is further survived by 13 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Friends may call at the Burton Westlake Funeral Home, 3801 West 26th Street, on Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. and are invited to attend a service there on Wednesday at 11 a.m. with Paula Levine, Chaplain of AseraCare Hospice, officiating. Burial will be at Laurel Hill Cemetery with full military honors conducted by VFW Billy Simpson Post 470. Arrangements are under the direction of the Scott Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the cancer sponsorship run of Larry's granddaughter Kayleigh Hays at https://raceroster.com/events/2020/24250/2020-dicks-sporting-goods-pittsburgh-marathon-weekend/pledge/participant/7725083.
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