Neil G. Wetzler

We celebrate the life and mourn the loss of Neil G. Wetzler, 55, of Waltham, MA (formerly of Wilmington MA). He died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 after a courageous battle with cancer. Neil was surrounded by family and friends as he completed his journey to the light. Upon Neil’s passing, a dear friend of Neil’s, Reverend Bob Butler (formerly of Wilmington) gathered with family and friends to offer a time of reflection, consolation and prayer.

Neil’s love of family and friends was reflected in his intense loyalty, generosity, kindness, and dependability. He was always there when you needed him and most of his time in life was spent giving to others. Neil was a businessman, but in his free time he enjoyed leading inline skating tours in American cities, reading, watching movies, collecting historical and unique artifacts, cooking wonderful meals, traveling and spending time with family and friends. Neil was loved by many and those who knew him would describe him as “one of a kind.” Neil was a loving and caring son, brother, uncle, partner and friend.

Neil lived in Italy for an extended period of time where he learned to speak the language and immersed himself in the history of the country. Over the past 30 years, Neil made biannual trips to Annagh, Gort. Co. Galway, Ireland, the birth place of his mother. There he spent several months a year with his beloved Uncle Frank Walsh and his beloved Aunt Sheila Fitzgerald, in addition to time with his cousins. This time was precious to him and he was loved and cherished by many in Ireland.

Neil is survived by his life partner of 13 years, Kirsten Tolley of Waltham, MA, his parents, Richard and Philomena Wetzler of Wilmington, MA, his sister, Valerie Mazzola and her husband Stephen Mazzola of Londonderry, NH, his brother Brian Wetzler and his wife Elizabeth Wetzler of West Point, NY, his nephews, Brian, Marc, and Eric Mazzola of Londonderry, NH and Carson Wetzler of West Point, NY. His nieces, Kaela Mazzola of Charleston, SC and Sydney Wetzler of West Point NY, in addition to his beloved cousins, aunt, uncle and dear friends.

We want to extend our “profound” thanks to all those who participated in “Neil’s Care Team.” During Neil’s last few weeks with us, so many of you showed your true love for Neil and our family. Thanks to all those who spent nights and days with us as we provided 24 hour care to Neil in his home. You all graciously gave up time with your own families to help us make sure Neil was comfortable and his journey was peaceful. Thank you to all of those who brought us much needed home cooked meals, coffee and donuts in the morning, did laundry for us, took time off work, ran errands, visited and called frequently, sat and spoke to Neil when he could no longer speak, and helped us lift him when we needed extra muscle. Through all the exhaustion and tears, those of you on his team never let him down. We are forever grateful for your kindness through this very difficult time.

As per Neil’s wishes, there will be no public services. Following cremation, there will be a private celebration of his life. If you would like to honor his memory with a gift, we will be setting up a scholarship fund in his name at Hillsdale College, 33 East College Street, Hillsdale, MI 49242. You can send a check or donate through their website. Please refer to his name when sending your donation.


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33 Condolences

  1. David Johnstone on October 12, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    My heart and prayers go out to the Wetzler family. I knew Neil while I lived in Wilmington and had the pleasure to have played basketball with Neil at one point. My God take Neil with open arms and into Gods family. As Neil watch’s over us all and especially his family please remember Neil LOVED YOU ALL!!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU NEIL WETZLER!!!

  2. Richard Fitzgerald on October 12, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    You also touched many peoples lives here in England during your frequent visits. As a testimony to that I have received nearly 30 ( and counting) messages of condolences many of them real tear jerkers. What will we do without you?

  3. Bill Trites on October 12, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    Grant Neil’s family peace. In there time of need.

  4. The Paulsen's on October 13, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Neil my dear friend. You will be truly missed. You were loved by all and the most generous man I have ever known. You were thoughtful, kind, giving and the best friend anyone could ever expect to have. Our hearts today are broken, but they will heal and they will be stronger because you were a part of our lives. My friend, confidant and best man, Rest In Peace. You will be missed but never forgotten, I promise. We love you. Earl, Kathy, Matt and Michelle.

  5. Mike Woods on October 13, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Thaughts and prayers go out to the Wetzler family, so sorry for your loss, Sorry Bryan

  6. Sal Carbone on October 13, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Neil was a high school Basketball team mate. Outside shooting was one thing of many that he did well. I enjoyed his determination and drive. Want to send this note to family and friends that I am one of many that was fortunate to be touched and blessed to know Neil.

  7. Stacey Callahan Conway on October 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Sending thoughts and prayers to the Wetzler family. I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find peace in your memories of Neil and his generous spirit. The world is a better place because of him.

  8. Mary Olshaw Hynes and Family on October 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Sorry for your loss, sending kind thoughts and prayers for your family.

  9. Dianna and Michael DiGregorio on October 13, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    It was with great sadness that we learned of Neil’s passing. We had many laughs with Neil who will always hold a special place in our hearts. He had a great sense of humor with many wonderful stories. Grief can be so hard, but our special memories of Neil will help us cope as we remember him and his loved ones today and always.

  10. Rich Dowd on October 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Neil, it is far too soon to say goodbye. Your spirit and soul will stay alive within my heart for all my life. There will be so many moments that will forever bring a joyous smile when I relive all of our experiences together, with friends and with your family. I always looked forward to our skates, our breakfasts and our dinners with you and Kirsten when I visited from California. My love goes out to Brian, Val, Phil and Dick, they were like a second family to me growing up. I was always welcome in their home and in their life. Neil, thank you for including me in your life, you will be missed and never forgotten.

  11. Kaye Goulding on October 13, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    A great man of knowledge, insight & guidance in the world. I am thankful I had Neil in those moments of my life where we crossed paths & when I found myself at crossroads. I’m so grateful to call him family.
    Love to all of the family & friends who knew Neil & loved him so. Kaye xxx

  12. Barbara Holahan on October 13, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Dear Dick and Phil, How does one day their sorry when your hearts are broken. Neil was a wonderful son. I know Dickie took it hard, that was his best friend. He keeps things in. I know he does. I prayed every nite for God to take Neil and his pain. If there is anything Rich and I can do please ask us, even to talk.

  13. Lois Fitzpatrick Daley on October 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Stephen and I are thinking of you all…….so very sorry for your loss. God Bless.

  14. Sheryl (Cyrus) and Scott Elliott on October 13, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Sending our deepest condolences and prayers to the Wetzler family. May you all find peace in your memories of Neil.

    Sheryl (Cyrus) and Scott Elliott

  15. Fran and Sal Mazzola on October 13, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Sending loving thoughts and prayers to the Wetzler family for their heartfelt loss. We had the pleasure of spending many Christmas eves together with Neil and the Wet
    zler family and he will be surely missed by all. I loved the way he enjoyed trying foods from our culture with such enthusiasm and so grateful for all that was given him. His nephews and nieces are so lucky have had him for the best role model ever. We were blessed to know you Neil and know you’re at peace in the arms of our Lord.

  16. Renee Clark on October 13, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of Neil. Love and prayers sent to the entire Wetzler family during this difficult time.

  17. Becky Batten McKie on October 14, 2017 at 1:51 am

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Wetzler family. He will live on forever in all of you. Sorry for your loss Brian.

  18. Brian Slater on October 14, 2017 at 2:13 am

    Neil, many many memories have been generated by you touching our lives. You biult bridges of friendships that crossed the oceans. Wherever you traveled you brought laughter & joy. Your conversations, your willingness to listen and that unique ability to put things in prospective made a difference for us all. There are no boundaries for you now, travel the universe far and wide seek out those new frontiers and boldly go where no man has gone before. As always you will be our guide. Until we meet again.

  19. Paul Elmstrom on October 14, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Happy Birthday my friend. Neil was my best friend and I know that I am not the only person who would say that about him. That is what made him the unbelievably special person he was. Off the top of my head I can think of a half dozen people who he stood beside as best man. I’m going to miss being able to pick up the phone and talk to you, to make plans to grab a bite and see a game. Life is a roller coaster and we helped each other through it. I think the hardest part for all of us is knowing that you’re not there anymore. You were the best of us and we’re all going to miss you terribly. I love you my friend. Rest well. I’ll see you in the next life.

  20. Steve Mosher on October 14, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Although we lost touch as adults, I’ll forever think of Neil as a great friend and I’m thankful to have so many great memories of Neil and the whole Wetzler family. My thoughts are with these very special people. Rest well old friend.

  21. Sheila Fitzgerald on October 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Neil I will miss you more than you could ever know, everywhere we look there’s a reminder of you, you’ll never be forgotten and always be here in Annagh and my heart

  22. Frank Walsh on October 15, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Annagh will never be the same without you, there will always be a big part of us missing now you’re gone

  23. Bob and Cora Frost on October 16, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Our prayers go out to the wonderful Wetzler family. You were so very kind to our family (Earl and Barbara Frost) through all those memorable years at Alton Bay. May God’s love help comfort you on your loss of Neil.

  24. Jim De Biasi on October 16, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    my thoughts and prayers go out to the Wetzler family and to Kirsten Tolley and all who knew and loved Neil. Neil was my cosmic comic book bartender, he helped bring me back into my childhood through his WebHead store. To know Neil was to be loved by him. he is the rare breed of man that is honest, sincere
    fair and straight and narrow. he was a warm and kind friend. He will be missed. the world is a colder place without him.

  25. Jan Livingston on October 24, 2017 at 11:32 am

    My condolence goes out to Neil’s family and friends. Neil was always that happy face at the various city skates that made my day. Easy to talk to, with the biggest heart. God Bless you, Neil, I among many will miss you!

  26. jenn mcgonagle on October 25, 2017 at 1:30 am

    An amazing man. So many cherished memories. I am heart-sick. All my thoughts go out to his family and partner.

  27. Richelle Berard and Jun Whang on October 26, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    My husband and I skated with Neil in Boston for a number of years. We are both so sad to learn of his passing. In the skating community, Neil was larger than life, which makes this news even harder to hear. Like many, many others, we will have many fond memories of him. He was honest, forth-right, enigmatic, and philosophical; you knew that if he gave his word to help with something that he would follow through. We didn’t know him as well as many of you, but it was obvious that he lived his life the way he wanted; no excuses. A good example for all of us. We will miss you Neil and wish peace to your family and loved ones.

  28. Joel Epstein on October 26, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    There is a torrent of sadness flowing on inline community websites from around the Northeast. Neil was beloved not only by me but by the entire inline skating community. He was an icon and tour de force not only for his passion for skating but also for his warmth and wit. No mere words will ever fully capture the extent to which Neil improved our world. We are grateful for the time we were able to spend together and rue his too early departure. I share condolences with everyone who loved him dearly.

    I had tried to express some of that admiration and grief recently on social media and share that post with you here.

    On Tuesday October 10th, I had the great honor of leading Neil Wetzler’s Savin Hill Skate Route. At the time, I had posted:
    Neil may not be skating with us this season, but we can still
    embrace his legacy in the meantime until his forthcoming
    return. We haven’t been to Savin Hill in quite some time
    and the weather is going to be perfect for a skate along
    the water (70 degrees with a light breeze.) So, the plan is
    to borrow Neil’s Savin Hill route (with a few changes
    tossed in as Neil would certainly do). 15.7 miles

    It is with great shock and horror to find out today (two weeks later) that Neil’s reason for not skating was not, as told, a new business but, in fact, a battle with renal cancer and that October 10th would be his last. Neil, my friend, was a unique icon in the inline skate world. He loved skating and regularly traversed every inch and all the dead-end alleys in the Boston Metro area looking for a new place to skate on Tuesday night. Many if not most of my favorite streets to skate were first traversed on one of Neil’s numerous Tuesday night routes. On my computer, I have probably a dozen years of Neil’s Skate Boston routes as I helped him map the water stops for the sag wagon. Neil never needed a map and had every turn always memorized.

    On a personal level, I first met Neil on a Washington DC skate weekend over 15 years ago when he was the one overdressed at the Mongolian BBQ dinner in a sport coat. Having since seen him in every humorous t-shirt known to mankind, how funny now does that first encounter seem with Neil overdressed. Neil is and was always an interesting person to spend time with, whether it was the omnipresent $2 bills he left as tips for the waitresses, or the thick tomes he was always reading. Neil Wetzler, you will be sorely missed and always remembered. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life.

    Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, cloud, sky and outdoor

  29. Mark Murphy on October 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Deepest Condolences to Dick & Phil & family. My prayers are with you.

  30. David Cummings on June 13, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Just finding out about Neil after having lost touch for a few Years. He was one of the best People that I have ever known and he will be greatly missed

  31. Paolo Torresan on December 24, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Ciao caro Neil.
    Grazie per aver condiviso del tempo con me.
    thanks for having shared some time with me

  32. Benedetta on December 24, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Carissimo, apprendo solo ora…sono veramente dispiaciuta. Ci siamo conosciuti a Venezia e ci hai ospitati a Boston, una vacanza indimenticabile. Ti abbiamo insegnato le lasagne…come fosse ieri.

  33. Javier Renuncio Vidal on March 25, 2019 at 11:23 am

    En el verano de 1982, con 14 años de edad, fui un mes a Estados Unidos con mi hermana Beatriz Renuncio y tuve la inmensa suerte de vivir con Neil y sus padres y hermanos. Me acuerdo mucho de Brian y de sus padres y hermana Valerie. Acabo de conocer la pérdida y, aunque un poco tarde, me sumo a las condolencias a todos sus amigos y familiares. Yo ya he cumplido 50 años pero el recuerdo de esa gran familia no puedo olvidarlo. Javier Renuncio Vidal. En Bilbao (Basque Counytry-Spain) a 25 de marzo de 2019.Espero que podais entender el español. My heart is with you.

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