Former Juneau resident Elliot S. Wetzler, 67, died June 17, 2006, in Groton, S.D., at the home of his longtime friend and caretaker, Betty Breck, who is also formerly of Juneau.
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He was born on Dec. 1, 1939, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Max and Hedwig Wetzler, Jewish immigrants from Germany. He graduated from Brandeis University and earned his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. He worked in Washington D.C. as an economist for the Institute for Defense Analysis before moving to Juneau in 1981, to work as an economist for the governors office.
He met and befriended Breck, known to Juneau residents as Belle Blue, and her daughter Krissie. He left Juneau in 1983 to manage the family business, Wetzler Clamp Co., in Flushing, N.Y., which he sold the next year.
Intending to write a book, he then spent 10 years near the Rutgers University Medical Library, researching nutrition for the elderly. He moved with Breck to South Dakota in 1996, expanding his research to the Internet, using the library at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. Prior to his 2001 stroke, he was often seen at Groton City Park, reading his research papers. Betty and Krissie tended to him during his declining time in Groton.
Family members and friends said he was an avid chess player and novice inventor, a lifetime Mensa member, member of Congregation Bnai Issac in Aberdeen and a member of the Bayside Jewish Center in Bayside, N.Y.
They said, He will be remembered for his dedication to research and his uplifting sense of humor.
He is survived by his brothers, Gerald, Peter and Leonard Wetzler, of 32-04 171st St., Flushing, NY, 11358.