Today is Saturday, August 19, 2017

Setzer couple part of community

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Jon and Marion Setzer

It probably started out, as most Mondays did, in the life of Jon and Marion Setzer.

A cup of coffee, a quick glance at the latest newspaper headlines, laid-back conversation with each other, otherwise just enjoying retirement. According to friends, the Setzers moved to Lebanon a few years ago from Nashville. To escape the busy city, maybe but more than likely it had to do with moving closer to their children and grandchildren who call Wilson County home.

The day ended like no one would have imagined, with an explosion inside the home that left Mr. Setzer dead and Mrs. Setzer fighting for her life with wounds sustained in the blast.

There’s speculation about what caused the blast. TBI, FBI, ATF agents, and the Wilson County Sherriff’s Department, along with Lebanon Public Safety and the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, have worked feverishly since Monday night shortly after the explosion to uncover the details. We will leave that job to them.

In the coming weeks, months, perhaps years, we will be inundated with every detail as to the source of the crime. But for now, we will share what’s known about the victims, Jon and Marion Setzer, a couple who were for all intents and purposes, enjoying a quiet retirement, a couple who, according to friends, gave so much but expected so little in return.

The Setzers were active members of First United Methodist Church in Lebanon where Mr. Setzer taught Questors, an adult couples Sunday school class and Mrs. Setzer participated in a weekly Monday morning Bible study.

Wilson County resident and close friend Lucy Lee was a member of both classes and sat next to Mrs. Setzer hours before the explosion discussing what else, family.

“She always asked about my daughter and son-in-law who are in the process of adopting their first child. She prayed for me and my family that day. When I would talk to Marion, and she did this with everyone, you were the center of her world at that time. She made everyone feel special,” Lee said.

While Mr. Setzer had been in poor health in recent months, he still managed to command the attention of the Sunday school class. “He was so wise and loved to teach. He didn’t need notes as most of us who have taught need. They were friends to everyone,” Lee added.

In a world where assumptions are made prematurely and crime scene details get the most coverage, on this day friends of the Setzers would rather you think about how quickly what you know today could be gone tomorrow.

“I have never known a finer couple than those two,” Lee said. “It’s devastating. They were interested in whatever you were going through. They just cared about people.”

Writer Becky Andrews may be contacted at

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