Cover photo for Jack Wechel's Obituary
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1942 Jack 2017

Jack Wechel

December 21, 1942 — February 1, 2017

Anthem, Arizona resident and former Grundy Center, Iowa resident Jack Allen Van Wechel, 74, passed away February 1, 2017 at Hospice of the Valley in Glendale, AZ after a brief bout of cancer. Born in Vinton, Iowa on December 21, 1942, Jack graduated from Washington High School in 1961. He attended Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa for 1 year before enlisting in the United States Air Force in June 1963, where he was stationed in Grand Forks, ND. Jack married his high school sweetheart, Joy Muirhead, in 1964. After his discharge from the service in 1967, he and Joy moved to Grundy Center, Iowa, where they started a family, and he opened Van Wechel Motor Co., Inc., a Chevrolet/Oldsmobile automobile dealership which he ran for 33 years, eventually adding GMC, Ford, Mercury, Pontiac and Buick. Jack was very active in the Grundy Center community: a long-time member of the Chamber of Commerce, serving on the board from 1982-1986; an original member of the Felix Grundy Festival Steering Committee, serving 13 years before stepping down; a member of the board of directors of the Grundy Community Center, serving two three-year terms; chairman of Grundy's centennial committee and co-chair of the 125th anniversary celebration; a member of the Veterans Memorial Monument committee; and a member of Rotary Club. He and Joy belonged to the United Methodist Church. A proud veteran, Jack was a member of the local Grundy Center AMVETS and American Legion Post and donated many hours placing flags at the cemetery and participating in paying final respects at funeral services for veterans. Jack was named Grundy Center Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year in 2002 for his active involvement in the community. He and Joy retired to Anthem, AZ in December 2003. Jack was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to all. He loved life, had a keen sense of humor, and enjoyed having a good time with family and friends. He touched the lives of many people and will be greatly missed. Jack is survived by his wife Joy of 52 years, daughter Angie (Paul) Ellsworth of Anthem, AZ, son Chad (Holly) Van Wechel of Grundy Center, IA, grandchildren Katelyn, Taylor, Logan and Jordann; his brother Glenn (Judy) Van Wechel of Vinton, IA, sister Wanda (Wayne) Flickenger of Las Cruces, NM, and brother Don Van Wechel of Nixa, MO, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Lee, of Vinton, IA. A graveside service will be held on Friday, February 17 at 11:00 a.m. at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona located at 23029 N. Cave Creek Road Phoenix, AZ 85024. Memorial donations can be made in Jack's name to Wreaths Across America or Hospice of the Valley. Condolences to the family may be made on

Service Information

Friday, February 17th, 2017 11:00am, National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona

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