Obituary: Charles "Chuck" Wesley Etzel

Charles "Chuck" Wesley Etzel, age 80, of Hays, passed away Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at his home. He was born on December 23, 1930 in Bartlesville, Ok. to Charles Wesley and Edna May (Richmond) Etzel. He married Bettye (Henn) Pace on November 9, 1974 in Las Vegas, Nv.

Chuck worked in the aircraft and aerospace industry all his life. He began at Northrup on the flying wing and joined North American Aviation, Inc., which later became Rockwell International at Los Angeles, Ca. in 1951. He worked his way up from the Machine Shop through Lofting to Design Engineer on many interesting programs including the B70, Apollo/Saturn, B1 and retired from the Space Shuttle as a Design Engineer in Ground Support Equipment at Downey, Ca. in 1986.

He and his wife, Bettye, retired to Carson City, Nv. Where they enjoyed many happy years woodworking, bowling, playing cards, traveling, camping and fishing in the Sierra's before moving to Hays in August of 2005.

He is survived by his wife Bettye of Hays; two sons, John W. Etzel (Cheryl) of Perris, Ca. and Mark A. Etzel (Vicki) of Fresno, Ca; two daughters, Cindy L. Ridgman (Duane) of Riverside, Ca. and Connie M. Hill (Joe) Brandon, Ms; two step sons, Brad L. Pace (Karen) of Medical Lake, Wa. and Jeff S. Pace of Chehalis, Wa; two step daughters, Randee K. (Pace) Edwards (Merle) of Bullhead City, Az. and Kim (Pace) Rapp (Roger "Bo") of Reno, Nv; 20 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren and a special Dutch daughter, Linda Norblad of Reno, Nv. also survive him.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Norma, Nyda and Nora and "Aunt" Marie Back.

No services are planned and cremation has taken place. Arrangements were in care of Brock's North Hill Chapel 2509 Vine Hays, KS. 67601.

Memorials are suggested to Hospice of Hays Medical Center and may be sent to the funeral home. Condolences may be sent to the family by guest book at or emailed to


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