ZETTLER, Richard L. M.D.
Age 96, a long-time family physician in Hamilton-Fairfield, died Thursday, January 14,
after a brief illness.
Dr. Zettler was born at Mercy Hospital in Hamilton, on June 8, 1924, the son of George A. and Kathryn M. (Nieberlein) Zettler. He was educated at St. Peter-in-Chains grade school and graduated from Hamilton Catholic High School in 1942. He attended Xavier University, majoring in Chemistry and graduating in 1946, and St. Louis University's School of
Medicine, earning his M.D. in 1948.
He married Dorothy M. Alston on October 2, 1948, in St. Ann's Church in Hamilton. They were married for 65 years until
Dorothy's death in 2013.
Dr. Zettler served as a physician in the Air Force from 1948 to 1951. Following his honorable discharge he opened a Family Medical practice in Lindenwold. Dr. Zettler was devoted to his patients, usually making hospital rounds in the morning
before holding office hours afternoons and evenings. He
practiced family medicine for nearly 60 years.
On staff of both Mercy and Fort Hamilton Hospitals, he served as Chief of Staff at Mercy in 1958 and Chief of Staff at Fort Hamilton in 1964. He was an active member of the local
Hamilton Academy of Medicine and the Butler County
Medical Society and served terms as president of both organizations. He was a member of the Ohio State Medical Society, as well as the American Medical Association. He was named a Diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice in 1972 and was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice in the same year.
Dr. Zettler had a lifelong involvement with Mercy Hospital. He was the first layman to sit on the Mercy Board of Trustees and played a key role in the development and construction of Mercy South in Fairfield.
After his family and medicine, Dr Zettler's one love was golf. It started when he caddied at Potter's Park in the 1930's and he was on the course 2 or 3 days a week up until his 90's, and not just in the summer "no snow, we can play!" He was a lifetime member of the Elks, loved playing there and for many years he "sponsored' hole 16 (White #7) with his name on the tee marker.
Dr. Zettler is survived by his five children, Richard L. Zettler of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Robert A. (Charlene) Zettler of Chicago, Illinois, William J. (Deborah) Zettler and Janet M. (Don) Wolf, both of Hamilton and, Carol Ann (Randy) Hoelle of King's Mills, Ohio; thirteen grandchildren, Natalie (Jon) Leisinger, Andrea (Rory) McIntyre, Christa (Bill) Black, Matt (Angie) Zettler, Nate (Stephanie) Zettler, Rick (Jen) Wolf, Tim (Anne) Wolf, Alan Wolf, Abby (Ryan) Ellis, Adair (Jacopo) Sopradassi, Casey, Delaney and Camryn Holle; and 18 great grandchildren, Clare, Mallory, Owen and Frances Leisinger, Ginny McIntyre, Will, Ella, and Aubrey Black, John, Owen, Nora, Isla, Madison, and Miley Wolf, and Libby, Zack, Nolan, and Tatum Zettler
He was preceded in death by his mother in 1970, father in 1983, his only brother, James R. Zettler, in 2019, his sister-in-law, Marian Zettler in 2011, and wife, Dorothy, in 2013.
Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00am Tuesday in St. Ann Church followed by burial in St. Mary Cemetery. Visitation will be private. Memorials are suggested to St. Ann church or the Butler County Medical Society. Online register book available at