In Memory of CH Kenneth Whetzel

Kenneth Eugene Whetzel, 87, of Harrisonburg, VA passed away on February 14, 2023 of natural causes.

Ken was born on November 16, 1935, in Harrisonburg, VA., son to Raymond and Rebecca Whetzel. The family moved to New Market, VA when Ken was 12. At the age of 15, Ken met the love of his life, Charlotte Hinkle of Timberville, VA. After graduating from New Market High School, he attended Virginia Tech. Initially studying engineering, he felt called to the ministry. Upon graduation, he enrolled in Wesley Theological Seminary. Ken and Charlotte married on April 17, 1957, and had three children. Ken was preceded in death by Charlotte, his loving wife of 63 years.

While still in seminary, Ken served several United Methodist Churches in the Shenandoah Valley. A few years later, he joined the U.S. Army as a chaplain, serving for 3 years in Korea, at the Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, KS, and Fort Lee, VA. Once he left active duty, he served the United Methodist Church as a minister, primarily in Tidewater and Northern VA, including serving as District Superintendent while in Northern Va. He also continued to serve in the Army Reserves for 25 years.

Ken and Charlotte returned to New Market in 1995 and lived in the Whetzel family home for 23 years. Upon retirement, Ken gleefully pursued fulltime what he referred to as “the piscatorial pleasures.” In December 2018 Ken and Charlotte moved to a retirement community in Harrisonburg, VA.

Ken left this world less troubled than he found it and he always chose to see the good in people. He is survived by his three children: Leigh Newsom (Tom); Greg Whetzel (Molly); Jay Whetzel (Lisa); 7 grandchildren: Josh Newsom (Amy); Paul Newsom (Jesse); Brian Newsom (Lorian); Justine Whetzel; Ben Whetzel; Sam Whetzel; Anna Whetzel; 3 great grandchildren; Caleb Newsom; Charlotte Newsom; Dylan Newsom; his sister Donna Chisman, and many loving nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 2 p.m. at Manor Memorial United Methodist Church in New Market, VA. Reverend Whetzel will be laid to rest at a short family graveside service in Singers Glen Cemetery prior to the memorial service.

The family will receive friends following the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations go to the Food Pantry at Manor Memorial United Methodist Church, New Market, VA, where Charlotte and Ken volunteered many hours feeding the hungry.

Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting

McMullen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.