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Stephen Wetzel

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Stephen Wetzel Obituary
Wetzel, Stephen
Stephen Lawrence Wetzel, 55, was called home to our Lord on September 28, 2013, Phoenix, Arizona. He was born to Betty Ann and Lawrence M. Wetzel on March 11, 1958. A lifelong resident of Phoenix, he graduated from Central High School in 1975. He met the love of his life, Nancy Ann Birdsell, in 1981; they married the following year. They went on to have eleven beautiful children. Their home was filled with love, fun, laughter and of course lots of noise! Steve and Nancy were the ultimate team as parents, always providing support to one another while creating a faith-based family. Concurrent to building a family he went on to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Accounting at Northern Arizona University; later obtaining a Master of Science from Webster University in Security Management. His legacy is felt throughout the Valley and the global technology industry. He was Chief Information Officer of Maricopa County and more recently the CIO of Tarrant County, Texas. The true pride and joy of Steve's life were his wife and children. Our hearts ache with the pain of losing him much too soon, but we are filled with joy knowing he basks in the glory of our heavenly father. How fortunate we are to have been blessed with him as loving son, husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. He was truly that rare combination possessing an amazing intelligence, keen sense of humor and profound compassion for others. He held himself accountable to a much higher power and humility which was coupled with strength and integrity. He excelled in everything he did both professionally and in life; he excelled as a community leader, a husband, father and friend. This will be is real legacy. He is survived by his parents, Betty Ann and Lawrence Wetzel; his wife of 30 years Nancy Ann; his children Stephen L. Wetzel, Jr. (Christine); Christina Marie Valadez (Fred); Amy Michelle Burkow (Daniel); Lawrence Michael Wetzel II; Anne Therese, Elizabeth Ann, Gregory Andrew, Matthew James, Mark Daniel, Nicholas Alexander and Danielle Marie; the joy of his life were his grandchildren: Alexander, Anastacia, Adeline, Abraham, Andrew, Claire and Joshua; and his "big "brother and sister, Michael Thomas Wetzel and Laura Lou Bessler; his parents-in-law Ted and Mitzi Birdsell, and many nieces, nephews and in-laws.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Wetzel Children Education Fund at Wells Fargo (acct # 8103594381). Visitation and rosary will be Friday, October 4 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Chapel, 6830 West Thunderbird Road, Peoria; funeral Mass will be held at St. Helen's Catholic Church, 5510 West Cholla Street, Glendale on Saturday, October 5 at 10:00 a.m., interment will follow at Holy Redeemer Cemetery, 23015 North Cave Creek Road, Phoenix.

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Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 2, 2013
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