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Memorial for Lyle Muetzel

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On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Lyle Dean “Metz” Muetzel, loving husband and father of 14 children, passed away peacefully in Rogers, Arkansas at the age of 95. Dean was born on January 9, 1925, in Redwood Falls, MN to Irene (Breckenridge) and Franz “Frank” Muetzel and spent many years in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Kansas. Dean served in WWII as a Naval Aviator and later earned his mechanical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. Dean worked over 35 years for John Morrell in Sioux Falls, SD. In 1945, Dean married Maxine “Mickey” Stebbins, his childhood sweetheart, and they raised four children. When Dean was widowed in 1969 he remarried Mary Jackson, a widow with four children of her own. When Mary passed in 1986 Dean remarried a third and final time to Janice Hansel Hyson, also a widow with six children of her own. Dean resided in Rogers, Arkansas for 35 years with Janice in her home on Beaver Lake. Dean is survived by many grandchildren. Dean had a passion for sailing. He also loved bird watching, historic lighthouses, and he combined his favorite hobbies by traveling extensively with his wife Janice. Dean was known for his commitment to service, captivating storytelling, and his compassionate spirit. Dean loved competitive sports while a student and excelled at several. He earned state rankings in football and wrestling and was strongly competitive in swimming and track. Dean was a lifeguard in high school and continued a life of service. As WWII heated up his father Frank got a job offer requiring a family move so Dean stayed behind to graduate. Dean volunteered for the Minnesota State Guard which had moved into the vacated National Guard armory – a warm place to finish the last half of his senior year. The WWI vets in the group encouraged him to strive for an officer position so he applied for Naval Aviation Cadet training. After completion Dean flew Grumman Avenger torpedo bombers. He remained in the Naval Reserve after WWII and graduated the University of Minnesota as a mechanical engineer, husband to his first love Mickey, and new father. Offered jobs at Boeing Aerospace and at John Morrell meat packing in Sioux Falls, SD, Dean put his aviation experience to use and decided “people always have to eat but they don’t always have to fly.” He continued in Naval Aviation with the Reserves flying torpedo bombers, early warning aircraft, jet fighters, and patrol bombers for 20 years before retiring as a Lieutenant Commander while concurrently pursuing a civilian career. Dean and Mickey had three daughters, Karen, Martha “Marti”, and Gretchen, and a son Mike. He was active in the Asbury Methodist church council, a 32 degree Mason, Grand Master, and a Shriner. In 1969, with Karen and Mike out of the nest, Dean received a substantial promotion to manage a meatpacking plant for Morrell in Arkansas City, KS. As part of that position with one of the biggest employers in town he became part of almost all the community service clubs. Shortly afterward Mickey, Gretchen, and Marti tragically died in an automobile crash and Dean was adrift in a new city but with lots of acquaintances. He survived the grief poorly with extreme depression for almost a year and was slowly trending upward with help of new friends before meeting Mary Jackson. They fell in love and enjoyed many years of marriage before Mary contracted cancer. Her strong faith helped her endure years of pain, hope, and disappointment. Dean retired early from Morrell to enjoy their time together and they moved to Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR. After Mary went to the Lord, Dean again became severely depressed. He went to California for a time with his son Mike, who by now was a Naval Aviator. As an aviation retiree Dean was allowed to fly “space available” on training missions and they went all over the West Coast in C12s and flew Search & Rescue helicopters in the Sierra Nevada range, including landing for lunch in Yosemite National Park. Dean’s optimism was recharged and after a couple of months he returned to Rogers. Mary’s experience with Hospice compelled Dean to volunteer with the group. Through the group, he met Janice Capps, a long-time Rogers resident well known for her volunteer work, who would become his third wife. They discovered many common interests and married to pursue them together. Both were passionate about water safety so were active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Beaver Lake boat club, and Special Olympics swimming programs. They established the Arkansas Navy in Rogers and the Maritime Museum which was located in Frisco Station Mall for many years. They participated in Arkansas Senior Olympics and were both gold medal winners in marksmanship. Years of community outreach and coalition building for a community therapy pool finally overflowed and became the Rogers Adult Wellness Center, with Janice and Dean on a plaque on the wall and membership numbers 2 and 3. Affected by Alzheimer’s since 2008, Dean went home with the Lord peacefully in his sleep after a year and a half in a memory care residence. State measures to fight COVID-19 closed the facility to visitors so his last physical contact with a family member was five months ago. Dean and his fellow residents were not infected with COVID-19 thanks to diligence of the facility staff. Restrictions due to the global pandemic compel the family to delay a celebration of Dean’s life. Deans cremated remains will be laid to rest in Arkansas City with his first wife Mickey; in Arkansas City with Mary; and near his home with Janice on Beaver Lake. Current plans are to gather in Kansas in April 2021 and again on the anniversary of Dean’s death in Rogers for the main celebration. Dean is survived by his spouse Janice, Michael Muetzel and Karen Muetzel Harris, Wayne Jackson, Mark Jackson, Denise Jackson Simon, Chris Jackson, Vern Tejas, Janus Hansel Lazarus, Ginger Hansel, David Hansel, Carin Hansel Trant, and Phillip Hansel, their spouses, children, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Special thanks to all the wonderful friends we have made at Grand Brook Memory Care of Rogers while Dean has been with you. For further details, email cdrmuetzel.juno.com. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that donations in Dean’s name be made to Rogers Adult Wellness Center. Arrangements by Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home, Rogers, Arkansas. Online Guestbook: www.bentoncountymemorialpark.com