Dorothy Wetzel

Dorothy would like to let you know that her work here is done. She was called to other responsibilities and opportunities on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017.

She had a long and fruitful life that commenced on July 10, 1929, in Pocatello, born to Hilda Bennett Nelson and Harry Nelson. She graduated from Pocatello High School in 1947. After training to be a registered nurse she met the love of her life, Vernon R. Wetzel. They were married on Sept. 3, 1950, and were parents to four children: Steven Wetzel, Mark Wetzel, K Lynn Norlen, and Kirstin Arredondo.

Dorothy took pride in her joint role as mother of four children and career health provider. She worked at the hospital in American Falls as an RN, floor supervisor and director of nursing. She became embroiled in the move to give nurses greater responsibility in the health system by becoming one of the first nurse practitioners in the state of Idaho. She opened the Aberdeen health clinic as one of the first nurse practitioners in Idaho which still serves as Health West Clinic. She also gave allergy injections from her home in American Falls.

Whether raising her children, loving her husband or fighting for better rural health services, she rarely backed away from giving her opinion and voicing what she thought was best for her family, community, and country. Her strength and voice will be missed by all that knew her.

All are invited to a memorial service at her church of some 50 years, St. John’s Lutheran Church, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity. Condolences and memories may be shared at


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