Dr. Charles Victor Wetli

Charles Victor Wetli, 76, of Alpine, New Jersey, passed away on July 28, 2020 after a short but valiant struggle with lung cancer.

Born in 1943 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Charles spent his early childhood in Green Bay until his parents moved to Manhasset, NY.  Even as a boy in high school, he knew he wanted to become a physician someday.  He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1965 where he majored in chemistry and then went on to pursue a medical degree at St. Louis University. 

As a result of the United States Berry Plan,  Charles was able to defer military service during the Vietnam War era until after he graduated from medical school and completed the majority of his residency in pathology.  Charles served as a major in the U.S. Army Medical Laboratory Pacific in Japan, as the Chief of Pathology.

Upon return  to the United States after military service, Charles embarked upon a career dedicated to forensic pathology.  He spent nearly twenty years in the Dade County, Florida Medical Examiner’s Office and then over a decade as the Chief Medical Examiner for Suffolk County, New York.  As a pioneer in the field of forensic pathology, he authored numerous articles in medical journals, as well as several books. The trajectory of  his career in forensic medicine coincided with dawn of the era of the use of scientific evidence to solve complex crimes, and unexplained deaths.  As a result of his training, vast experience, and ability to clearly articulate his findings, he was able to aid many law enforcement agencies and attorneys throughout the nation.  Always valuing education, he taught at the University of Miami School of Medicine and then at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  He has left a lasting impact as a mentor to hundreds of young pathologists throughout the country.

Of all of his many accomplishments, he was most proud of his family.  His wife, Geetha, was the love of his life.  Together, they were able to travel the world, spending time in places as exotic as Vietnam, Cambodia, the Galapagos Islands, Morocco, and Machu Pichu. Although, in reality, it did not matter where he travelled as long as he was with his precious Geetha. A voracious reader, he was rarely found without a book in hand. He treasured spending time with his seven grandchildren and was the most involved grandfather one can imagine. 

Charles was predeceased by his parents, Mary (nee Carriveau) and Cletus Wetli.  He is survived by his wife, Geetha; his children, Cletus, Carla (Philip), Kavita (Sean) and Vikram (Danielle); and his grandchildren, Luke, James, Nathan, Elizabeth, William, Julia and Caroline.

Due to the restrictions placed on public gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a private funeral will be held.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the National Park Foundation.  https://give.nationalparks.org/site/Donation



  1. Melissa Teeter

    This was such a wonderful tribute. I had no idea he served in the Army. We were all lucky to have known Chuck. His smile will be missed.

  2. Connie Gleason

    To Tack’s whole family,
    I am so very sorry for your deep loss. My prayers are with you all.
    God bless each of you with comfort, peace, and good memories.
    I was always so proud of my cousin, Tack. A great man!
    Love and sincere sympathy, Connie Gleason, CSJ

  3. Ken & Adrian Green and The Girls

    To a life well spent! -Selah

  4. Dr. Wetli was one of a kind! Honest and fair in his professional life. I knew he would tell me how he felt about a particular subject. I had the distinct honor of co-authoring articles and as an editor in addition to an author there was no one like him. He was funny as ever!! He would send me Christmas cards with a picture of Lord Ganesh on the front of the card. He loved teaching and mentored many a fledgling forensic pathologist. We will all miss him. Rest In Peace my friend. Valerie Jo as he liked to call me!!!

  5. Don and Nanci Maes

    I have many fun memories of growing up in Green Bay, WI and spending time with our cousins, such as “Tack”. He was always “Tack” to us instead of Chuck. We are certainly proud of all he has contributed to the medical world, as well as being a devoted dad, husband, and grandfather. He will be missed by many. Nanci and Don Maes and Family

  6. Carla, I now know why you are such an amazing woman of learning, teaching and helping others succeed. What a gift your father has been to your family and role model and mentor for his students. Hugs my friend and peace be with you and your family. ❤❤

  7. Philip Caldwell

    Thank you all for honoring the life of my Father in Law Chuck.
    I read an article last week of a Soldier who experienced a tragedy in battle. He says in part ” I owe it to him (his warrior brother) to live a full and good life. To pay his sacrifice forward and see his legacy fulfilled. Not many of us live thru war but all of us survive life. We get up every morning and decide the pain and frustration is worth it. That the smiles on the face of our spouses and children make life a fight worth fighting and victories worth celebrating. ”
    I am confident Chuck would agree and push us all to this same mindset. Each of us has a unique opportunity to honor his life by continuing to further his legacy of loving our spouse as he did in many ways – starting with that morning cup of coffee for our loved one, his ethics in his business tasks and his love and devotion to family.
    I will not forget a difficulty I had in 2010, he was very graceful and encouraging to me. He said, “you are never an expert at something until you have made enough mistakes on the journey.”
    Here’s to Chuck and may we all find ways to carry his legacy forward.
    Thank you again for your support to us all.
    We are likewise very grateful for the entire staff of Pizzi Funeral Home, we would encourage anyone in the area to utilize their compassionate services.
    Philip Caldwell – husband of Carla Wetli Caldwell

  8. Rafael Martinez

    Thank you Chuck for always being an inspiration. Rest in Peace.
    Dr. Rafael Martinez

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