A lifetime of service to Shelby and its residents and a stellar football career are the legacy of Joe Yetzer ’24. In 1961, Joe was named to the Shelby Jaycees’ all time Whippet football team. A 1923 Daily Globe account cited Joe as a “triple threat”: he punted, filled in as quarterback and starred at halfback. Before the 1923 Shelby-Mansfield game, a Globe story reported that word around Mansfield was “Get Yetzer.” Joe dashed 70-yards for a first quarter score. In the second quarter, Joe couldn’t find room to punt so “he tucked the ball under his arm and raced through the entire Mansfield team 60 yards for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, the swift Whippet “aggravated them by swimming through 50 yards of mud for a third touchdown.” The 1923 team went undefeated, scoring 211 points; Joe scored 96 of them.
The summer Joe graduated, he worked as a laborer on the new Most Pure Heart of Mary Church. Because of his small size, he was chosen to work in the tunnels under the church as the massive stone pillars were installed. Joe went to Dayton on a football scholarship but rheumatic fever ended his football career. He then began developing a distinguished career in the electricity power generation industry. He worked for Ohio Power for 18 years, constructing and maintaining substations. In 1945 Joe joined the Shelby Power Company and rose to superintendent of electrical distribution, retiring in 1973.
With a passion for woodworking, Joe built his own lathe to turn out beautiful furniture and specialty items including a set of large cherry candlesticks for St. Mary’s Church which are still used. He was president of the local Union of Operating Engineers, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a charter member of the Elks Lodge. Joe married Catharine Keller, who attended Sacred Heart School in the Shelby Settlement and Wooster Business School. They were married for 60 years before Joe died in 1990. Catharine was 102 when she died. Joe’s children include Joan Catharine Yetzer Ashley ’50, John Martin Yetzer ’52, David Joseph Yetzer ’55 and Joseph “Lee” Yetzer ’58 who died in 2008. Standing in for Joe for the induction ceremony are: Joan Yetzer Ashey ’50, John Yetzer ’52 and Dave Yetzer ’55
Joe’s nominator: Christina Lynn Yetzer Drain ’75.