Community Heroes

Walter Wetzel

by Everson from Billings

Robert F Kennedy talking to Walter Wetzel. (
Robert F Kennedy talking to Walter Wetzel. (

This story is about my great grandpa, Walter Wetzel. He has done a lot of things and made the Wetzel name very renowned in the Indian Communities. My family has always called my grandpa, Grandpa Blackie. My grandpa is no longer alive but he made a large impact with the people he knew.

My grandpa was raised on the reservation. His father would hit him and tell him he was worthless, so Walter would play basketball to calm his nerves. Walter played Basketball, Football, Track, and was always the best at his school. He passed all of his classes, and then went to college. After college he got involved with politics.

Walter became president of the National Congress of American Indians and was named a chief of the Blackfeet tribe. He also made the icon for the Washington Redskins in his free time. Walter worked with President Kennedy and many of the people that also worked with the president. Walter also had sons named Don Wetzel, Rex Wetzel, and Peetsi Wetzel. Don Wetzel followed his father with basketball, breaking records and winning championships. Walter loved each and every one of his children.

One day Walter was waiting for President Kennedy at an airport when he received news that the president had been shot and was dead. He stayed at the airport hours after the news, still in shock that someone had really killed the President. He went home that night and his family comforted him.

The Blackfeet Tribe's Flag. (
The Blackfeet Tribe's Flag. (

Walter retired and began to relax for once in his life. The feeling was so new to him because he would always be doing something. Even the older he became, he continued to work and never stop. Even when offered help, he would refuse and say he could do better on his own. Walter’s son Don Sr. also had children: Shawn, Don Jr. Ryan, and Robert Wetzel. I still remember my great grandpa and the last time I saw him. He has done a lot in this world. He is no longer with us, but his legacy is…

Page created on 11/23/2009 2:06:41 PM

Last edited 11/23/2009 2:06:41 PM

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