Gerald L. “Jerry” Oetzel

October 2, 1955 - January 5, 2019

Born in Philadelphia, PA on October 2, 1955, he was a son of the late Leonard F. and Mildred C. (Martin) Oetzel. Jerry was a Registered Master Plumber in PA, NJ, and DE. He was a dedicated employee who worked tirelessly sharing his extensive knowledge in all fields as an RMP and Senior Plumbing Estimator for Sobieski Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning where he had been employed for 20 years.

He was a member since 1982 of the Matt Talbot #34 Retreat. He took great joy in recruiting new men to his beloved retreat.

35 years ago, he married his wife Marleen. While he was under no obligation to love her son Drew, he did with all his heart. To prove his love, he legally adopted him when he was 17- years old and gave him his name. Jerry was always an exceedingly kind, loyal, generous, gentle and loving man to his wife and son Drew.

Almost 15 years ago, his wife found her calling and meaning of life, and that was to rescue dogs from shelters and bring them into their home to foster them until they were adopted. To say the least, initially Jerry was not a willing partner in her endeavor but along the way he saw what it meant to her and even more importantly he saw what it meant to the lives of the dogs that now had the opportunity to have the life they deserved. In time, in Jerry’s good-nature, he referred to her dog rescue as Marleen’s most expensive and time consuming hobby!

Jerry endured having 556 pups & dogs fostered in his home. He became the most extraordinary Foster Dad for LnF Dog Rescue. When the dogs had been beaten and full of fear, Jerry made it HIS mission to help them feel love and to be able to trust again. His gentleness and patience helped countless formerly battered dogs become adoptable.

Jerry will be deeply missed by everyone who loved him & anyone who knew him.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 6 pm until 7 pm on Thursday, January 10, 2019, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE, where a memorial service will begin at 7 pm. Interment will be held privately.

Please “ no flowers “ in lieu of flowers please make a donation in loving memory in Jerry’s name to –


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32 Condolences for Gerald L. “Jerry” Oetzel

  • It is with the deepest sympathy that I write these words to you. My heart breaks for you and your family at this difficult time. My prayers are with you.


  • My deepest sympathy to you and his family

  • Heartfelt condolences on the loss of your husband and rescue partner. May God surround you in His loving spirit. Many prayers for the family and friends.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. May the Lord give you and your family peace and strength.

  • Marleen and family,

    I am deeply sorry to hear of your loss. I did not know Jerry but he must have been a good man from what I have read above and in supporting your efforts with LNF Dogs. I appreciate all the work you and Jerry do and did to make my LNF Dog Murphy the awesome family member that he was for nearly 13 years. I pray for your comfort and peace and all the help and support you will surely need. Rest in Peace Jerry.

    Kathleen Depew
    Former Adopter – Indianapolis, IN

  • Marleen, I am so very sorry for your loss. Jerry was a special man, and I know you will miss him everyday. We’re here for you. Gayle and Bunny

  • Marleen, our deepest and heart filled sympathies go out to you and your family! This is such sad news!

  • So very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you

  • Dearest Uncle Jerry.

    I was so saddened to hear of your passing in such circumstances.
    You will be greatly missed by many.
    Dad your brother Michael will be there with your mum and dad. Grandmum and Grandpop.
    Rest in peace now Uncle Jerry pain free.

    We love you. And are thinking of all those close to you who are mourning from the sad loss of you leaving them behind.
    I hope and pray that everyone affected will get the help and support they need from friends, loved ones and the support networks which are available.

    You and Aunt Marleen took dad’s dogs in when he passed and I will forever be eternally grateful to you both for that.

    “Those loved ones we have lost don’t forever go away, they walk beside us everyday.

    We can no longer see them, their voice we can’t hear, but their memories will stay with us fondly every year.

    Some may be happy, some may be bad. Some will be joyful but the ending real sad.

    Fly high now Uncle Jerry to heaven you go, where loved ones are waiting and are over the moon. But they too show sadness as you entered too soon.

    As we say our goodbyes and hope you found peace, we are left behind a cloud of darkness and saddened with Grief”.

    Thinking of you all at the service.
    With all our love.

    Katie, Alan, Tiffany and Gabriella.

  • I sure will miss the “Jerry O Show” as I like to call you. You befriended me a bunch of years ago and tolerated my craziness….you may have even embraced it! Thank you for getting me to Malvern and then getting me involved in service there. I miss the days of eating lunch or dinner at Bennihana laughing and laughing. Do me a favor and say hello to Big Daddy Volp!

  • Oh,Marleen, my heart is with you. Praying that you find comfort and strength, at this time, and into the future. I have watched your wonderful work with dogs, and simply pray for your well-being as you move on through this difficult time.

  • Marleen we are very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family may Jerry Rest In Peace.

  • Marleen, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Jerry. I wish you and your family peace and loving memories to hold in your hearts. I am forever grateful for the love you both gave Sapphire whilst awaiting her forever home.

  • There are no words for the pain and grief you are going through. I pray for God to help you through. May perpetuate light shine upon him. God bless you Marleen and his entire family too.

  • Marleen, I can’t tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I know how much Jerry loved you and all the dogs you both rescued. He was a wonderful foster dad to our Sadie. Sending lots of love.

  • Marleen, I am so sad to hear of your loss. Jerry will be watching over you and your puppies. I am sure he is running and playing with your puppies who crossed over the rainbow bridge, my Ying is surely sitting on his lap.
    Many prayers are being sent.


  • Marleen and Drew, I’m so sorry for your loss

  • Marleen, I am so sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. My heart goes out to you during this difficult time, I will keep you and the rest of Jerry’s family in my prayers.

  • Dear Marleen
    I was so shocked to read of Jerry’s death. I never met him but certainly know thru your descriptions what a kind, compassionate dear man he was. So deeply sorry for your incredible loss. Warm regards. Kathy

  • Dear Marleen
    I was so shocked to read of Jerry’s death. I never met him but certainly know thru your descriptions what a kind, compassionate dear man he was. So deeply sorry for your incredible loss. Warm regards.

  • John and I offer our prayers and deepest sympathy to you and the entire Oetzel family on Jerry’s passing. He was a true gentleman who will be missed by many. May he rest in peace. Jesus, Mary and Joseph be with you.

  • my heart dropped when i was told the news that my friend gerry had passed.
    i can’t listen to sticky fingers without thinking of gerry blasting his tape as we
    drove thru the gates at malvern. HE WAS A GREAT AND FUNNY GUY.
    I feel like i’m in the “Sway” now. I remember marleen telling me i had to meet her
    husband and that he was plumber too. i thought yea right, hahahahahahah
    he was a special guy and a tortured soul all rolled up in one. It’s funny how time passes and
    we lose contact with people we love, but in the end he will always be in my heart and part of
    my fond memories of early recovery. He always had a moment and would ask how i was doing and
    he would always say sickies in front. God bless and rest in peace my brother from another mother!!!!

  • Dear Marleen,

    How saddened I was to hear this news! I wish I could be there for you right now – give you a big hug and hold onto you for a bit.

    Know that you are in my thoughts and heart today and always.


  • My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  • I am deeply saddened that this happened after such a long and wonderful marriage. Please let me know what else I can do to ease your burden.

  • To Marleen and family – I was saddened to read this posting today on LNF. Alan and I never met Jerry but just knowing the love and “food” he shared with so many rescued dogs (our Gabby), this is such a loss. I know your heart aches but hopefully all your memories and good times will help you as you go through this. Also may your dogs in your rescue bring you comfort. We are praying for you and certainly will keep you in our thoughts daily.

    Gabby (Janna), Alan and Lynn

  • Dear Marleen and Oetzel families.
    I was so saddened to hear this awful news.
    Please except our sincere Condolences
    From Angie & Dave Moore.

  • So very sorry for the family’s loss. Was privileged to know Jerry for many years thru work and was always impressed with his knowledge and willingness to teach and explain. I will truly miss my dealings with him.
    His sense of humor was also entertaining. They broke the mold after Jerry. One of a kind.

    Hope the Family can find peace and remember the good times. Prayers for all.

  • Marleen,

    Oh, what a terrible loss! I am so very sorry.


  • Dear Marleen,
    Please know that the love and thoughts of your many friends are with you at this terribly sad time. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • To Marleen and the Oetzel family,
    I was truly blessed to have Gerry in my life as an employee and friend. I’m very saddend to learn of his passing and my condolences to all. I don’t know where to begin, nor do I know where to end, but I have to pay respect where it’s due. Gerry was a good man, caring, loving, a take you under his wing guy. He never judged, was always there for anyone in need of the smallest or largest things. When the common saying is said “they don’t make men like this anymore.” They were referring to this man. You’ve found your peace Gerry, and all my love to you Marleen.
    Thank you for everything my good friend.

  • Marlene, It’s been a long time since we’ve talked but I often wonder how you are doing and who you are rescuing. I am so sorry to hear of Gerry’s passing. You too were a great team. I send you prayers and strength.