Harold G. ‘Hut’ Whetzel

Harold G. “Hut” Whetzel, 83, a native Parsonian, died at 1:21 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where he was taken following a one-car accident the evening of Oct. 12 in Parsons.

He was born June 19, 1938, on a farm southwest of Parsons to Earl L. and Marie (Kirk) Whetzel. The family moved to the Chicago area in 1942 and he started grade school there. In 1946, they returned to Parsons and he attended Washington School, West Junior High School and Parsons High School, from which he graduated in 1956. He graduated from Parsons Junior College in 1958 and attended Kansas State College at Pittsburg. 

Hut was a gifted athlete, particularly in baseball and basketball. In high school he played basketball on two state tournament qualifying teams. He also played basketball at Parsons Junior College and was recognized as an honorable mention junior college all-American.

His baseball career began with playing in the PeeWee leagues in Parsons, American Legion baseball and Ban Johnson baseball, and he was named an all-state American Legion baseball pitcher in 1954. Hut signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers in July 1956 and played one year of minor league ball in Shawnee, Oklahoma (Sooner League), until a shoulder injury ended his career.

Hut always supported baseball and coached Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball in Parsons for 15 years. 

In 1957, he began working for Ankortite/Dayton Superior and remained there until his retirement in February 2010. He was active in the Machinists Union and was the longtime treasurer of the organization. He was an ardent University of Kansas basketball fan and was a lifelong Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodger fan. In retirement, he enjoyed playing cards at the Parsons Senior Center. He attended Faith United Methodist Church and Western Way Cowboy Church.

On Sept. 30, 1960, he married Bette Ray Sterling in Parsons. She survives and is currently a patient at Freeman Hospital in Joplin. 

Other survivors include a daughter, Terri Whetzel and grandsons Brock and Brice Willard; brothers, Leon Whetzel (Cecilia) and Darold “Dut” Whetzel (Nancy); a sister-in-law, Sue Ann (Sterling) Boerding; a niece, Roxanne (Whetzel) Walker; nephews, Lloyd, Marty, Josh and Aaron Whetzel, Lee, Alan and Noel Salyers and Mike, Keith and Greg Boerding. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a daughter, Lori Rae.

A memorial service will be planned at a future date. Memorials are suggested to assist the family with expenses. These may be left at or sent to the Carson-Wall Funeral Home, P.O. Box 942, Parsons, KS, 67357.

Online messages may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.

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