John S. Ketchum
John S. Ketchum, 94, died on October 25, 2015 at Hillsborough County Nursing Home, Goffstown, NH.
He was born in Mt. Vernon, NY on April 16, 1921, one of three sons of Roland F. and Gertrude E. (Cryer) Ketchum. His youngest brother Ronald passed away years ago. His younger brother Fred lives in Sarasota, Florida. John moved to Goffstown, NH several months ago having made his home in Williamsburg, VA since 1985, and previously living in Bethesda, MD for 25 years.
John was a U.S. Army veteran having served during World War II in the Phillipines starting in 1943 after graduating from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. as an Electrical Engineer and was honorably discharged in 1946 having earned the rank of Captain. He continued his service in the Army Reserves until 1953. He was in the radio room on the island of Luzon in early August 1945, when the orders came through describing the invasion of mainland Japan by US forces. John was sure he and all his fellow soldiers would die in that invasion. Within two days, President Truman ordered the dropping of bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, allowing John to return home to marry, have a family, and reach the wonderfully old age of 94.
He was employed as an engineer for AT&T for 42 years starting in New York, moving to Cincinnati, and then back to NY before landing in Bethesda.
John was an active parishioner of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase, MD and Bruton Parish Episcopal Church, Williamsburg, VA, where he also served as an usher. While living in Williamsburg he enjoyed serving in Kiwanis, served as Commissioner of Wetlands, and was an active member of the Republican Party. He loved woodworking, photography and took great pride in mentoring math students at the College of William and Mary as well as tutoring elementary school children with his wife Sally as part of a special adopt a grandparent program in a City of Williamsburg School.
Mr. Ketchum was predeceased by his wife, Sarah A. (Bolmer) Ketchum, who died in 2008; a son, John S. Ketchum, Jr. who died in 1974; a daughter-in-law, Leisa Ketchum and a granddaughter, Joana R. Dean who both also died in 2008.
Survivors include a son, Jeffrey Ketchum and his wife Jeannie Ketchum of Bethesda, MD; two daughters, Eleanor Silverman and her husband Michael Silverman of Catonsville, MD and Elizabeth Wolczko and her husband Peter Wolczko of Amherst, NH; four grandchildren; Raegan Ketchum Baylie, Sean Ketchum, Samantha Silverman and Thomas John Silverman along with several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Friday November 20, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of Our Saviour, 10 Amherst St., Milford, NH. Burial will be in the Bruton Parish Church Courtyard, Williamsburg, VA on January 3, 2016 at 12:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or The Montgomery Hospice, Rockville, MD. Arrangements are in the care of Smith & Heald Funeral Home, 63 Elm Street, Milford, NH. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please go to www.smith-heald.com.