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Etzel scholarships will help future students

Scholarships are the legacy of a special man

John ”Jack” Etzel never forgot what his education empowered him to achieve in life.

The Fort Dodge native was born Oct. 2, 1930, about a year after the stock market crash plunged the United States into the Great Depression.

He graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High School, where he was captain of the football team twice and earned all conference honors. He moved onto Fort Dodge Junior College, where he racked up more athletic honors.

Etzel served in the Army from 1950 to 1954. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

He started his professional career in education by teaching and coaching at Lineville High School for two years. He next taught in Coon Rapids for a year.

He moved back to Fort Dodge where he owned Midwest Toy Co. for 36 years. He also managed a semi-pro baseball team in Des Moines for 17 years.

Etzel died on Oct. 27, 2017, at age 87.

He left behind a legacy that was only revealed last month.

His estate has provided money for scholarships for graduates of Fort Dodge Senior High School and St. Edmond High School who are enrolling in Iowa Central Community College.

Iowa Central and the community colleges as we know them today didn’t exist when Etzel was a student. Fort Dodge Junior College, which he attended, essentially served the role of a community college then.

Four of Etzel’s five children attended Iowa Central, and he recognized the value of an education there. He decided to make sure that future generations of students can get the high caliber education his children received.

The scholarships will help future students achieve their full potential through education and will be a testament to the caring of a special man.