Albert J. Motzel Jr., MD, was born to eternal life and reunited with his beloved wife, Mary Shannon, on February 23, 2021, at the age of 93. The long-time resident of Waukesha County lived a long fruitful life of service as a distinguished surgeon and administrator, devoted husband and father, lover of nature and devout man of faith.
Albert J. Motzel Jr. was born July 26, 1927, in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Dr. Albert J. Motzel Sr. and Rose (nee Wulfers) Motzel. He grew up there and attended Christian Brother’s College Military High School, where he was valedictorian of the class of 1945. After serving one year in the Naval Air Force at the end of WWII, he went to the University of Notre Dame and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, graduating magna cum laude in 1949.
He met his wife during his senior year at Notre Dame, when she was a freshman nursing student at St Mary’s College of Notre Dame. It is said he was smitten from the moment he first saw Mary Shannon Dooley, performing in a dance recital, where she lost a shoe but kept on dancing. He is reported to have said, “I’m going to marry that girl.”
After a four-year, mostly long-distance courtship while Al attended medical school in St. Louis and Shannon completed her nursing degree at St. Mary’s, his declaration came true. He and Shannon were wed on October 10, 1953, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Florence, Wisconsin. Over the next 64 years together, marriage, family and faith were always their top priority. They raised nine children, Margie, Lisa, Paul (Jeanne), Mary (Ron), Mark (Wendy), Carol (Bob), Larry (Karen), Bill, and Tom (Tara), yet still made time for date nights once a week.
Dr. Motzel completed medical school at St. Louis University in 1953, then served his internship and surgical residency at Milwaukee County Hospital. In 1958, Dr. Motzel joined the staff of Waukesha Memorial Hospital where he was a surgeon until 1985 when he became the first Vice President of Medical Affairs for Waukesha Memorial Hospital.
In addition to his full-time surgical practice, Dr. Motzel was part of the team that founded the Moreland Medical Building, a charter member of the American College of Physician Executives, president of the Waukesha Medical Society, president of the Wisconsin State Medical Society, and part-time Director of Medical Education, which evolved into Director of Medical Affairs.
His lifetime of service was not limited to the medical profession. He was president of the board of directors of the Waukesha Symphony. He was a founding member of the St. Mary’s Parish school board in Waukesha, vice president of the parish council, and a member of the planning committee for the current church. He was appointed vice chairman of the Waukesha Downtown Redevelopment task force in the mid-70s. He served on the Retzer Nature Center board of directors, and was active on many committees at St. Paul Catholic Parish in Genesee Depot. He was active on the board of directors of the Interfaith Caregiving Network for many years, serving as president from 2000-2002.
Dr. Motzel had a long and illustrious medical career, but his children knew him best as a devoted husband, loving father, and admired role model to generations of children, grandchildren, friends and colleagues. He will always be remembered by those who knew and loved him for his mantra “do good and avoid evil.” Those are words he lived by.
Dr. Motzel is survived by his children, 34 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, his brother L. William Motzel, special cousin Sr. Jacqueline Motzel, nieces, nephews and other family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Shannon; parents; brother, Father Lawrence Motzel; and granddaughter, Angela.
Visitation will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon at Randle-Dable Brisk Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha. The funeral Mass at St. Paul Catholic Church in Genesee Depot and burial at St. Paul’s Cemetery will be private for the family only. The Mass will be video recorded and posted to this memorial page following the burial. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Dr. Motzel’s name are appreciated to St. Paul Parish, (Church mailing address P.O. Box 95 Genesee Depot, WI 53127) or to ProHealth Care Foundation (Waukesha Memorial Hospital), 725 American Avenue, Waukesha, WI 53188.
Per the Wisconsin mask mandate face masks are required and the funeral home will be following social distancing protocols. Guests inside the funeral home are limited, therefore the family encourages you to limit the length of your visit so others are able to attend.