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Lorraine Wetzel 1949 Web

Hazel Lorraine Wetzel, affectionately known as “Buzz,” passed into the care of her heavenly Father on Friday, January 19, 2018, just three days before her 100th birthday. She was born Hazel Lorraine Whalen, daughter of William and Hazel Winifred Whalen, on January 22, 1918 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and lived most of her first 50 years in that country. She was predeceased by her husband of 30 years, Joseph Wetzel, whom she married on April 18, 1951.  

Lorraine studied voice at the Toronto Conservatory of Music and pursued her music career in Canada and the United States before settling permanently in Camden, South Carolina, in 1967.

 She had been a gifted soprano. She had pursued a career as an operatic singer, having studied music and voice with Frederick Manning in Canada, and had received further vocal training in New York. She sang for the troops in Canada during World War II and had her Town Hall recording and debut in New York City on April 27, 1949. She was well received, a reviewer noting that “she had excellent breath control and a voice with a flute-like clarity.” Despite her professional promise, she deferred her singing career in order to care for her mother in Canada. She sang with her beloved Grace Episcopal Church Choir in Camden, well into her nineties.

Lorraine lived a life of grace and gratitude; a life of kindness and compassion. She was always thankful for even the smallest things in her life. She had a tremendously loving and tender heart toward her many friends and was well known for having the same love for ALL animals.

A note of deep gratitude goes out to the caregivers with Kershaw Health Hospice for their kindness, care and loving attention over the past year. Lorraine remembered them all and added each of them in her prayers.

 A Celebration of Life and memorial service will be held in the Memorial Garden at Grace Episcopal Church on Saturday, February 17, 2018, at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Lorraine’s name to the Thiel-Meyer Animal Shelter.