Died: October 28, 2012
Helen Ketcham, 100, of Johnson City died Sunday, October 28, 2012. She was a graduate of Johnson City High School and a member of Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial Methodist Church, and in her early years, she was a stenographer and switchboard operator at major companies in Binghamton and Ithaca, New York. She was predeceased in 2002 by her husband of 66 years, Dr. Rodney Kenneth Ketcham, a founding faculty member at Triple Cities College and chairman of the foreign language departments at Harpur and Cortland Colleges, where as a faculty wife she was known as an excellent cook and hostess. Mrs. Ketcham was a ten-year volunteer at Cortland Memorial Hospital, and, at SUNY Cortland, with her husband, she took under her wing a young German doctoral student and his fiancee, leading ultimately to the acquisition of a three-generation German family in addition to her own. For nearly five decades, the Ketchams traveled the world, living many months in France and in Mexico, and exploring the U.S. coast to coast; Mrs. Ketcham developed a deep and abiding interest in world culture, archaeology, and antiquity. She will be remembered for her sparkle, energy, and humor, her unquenchable resilience, and her willingness to stand up for family and friends. She is survived by her son, Dale Ketcham and his wife, Jeanne; her daughter, Jerri McDermott; grandchildren, Janet and Richard Zabadal, Stuart and April Ketcham, Gillian McDermott and husband, Jonathan Reiff; great granddaughter, Gwyndolyn Reiff; several nieces and nephews; and the extended Kuster family of Mainz, Germany. Donations in her memory may be made to the Memorial Fund of the Sarah Jane Johnson Methodist Church, 308 Main St., Johnson City, NY 13790.
Burial will be in North Fenton Cemetery. The family will be holding a memorial service at a future date.