Willard Kettelhut, 86

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Willard A. Kettelhut, 86 of Englewood, Colo., formerly of Mountain Home, died Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004 of natural causes.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, at Summers Funeral Homes, McMurtrey Chapel, Mountain Home. Graveside services will follow at Mountain View Cemetery.

Willard was born Feb. 5. 1918, at Belleville, Kan., to Albert and Mildred Kettelhut. He attended school through the 12th grade and graduated from high school in Chester, Neb. He attended Chillicothe Business College from 1936 to 1938 in Chillicothe, Mo.

He married Elizabeth June Simmons on Feb. 15, 1939, in Belleville, Kan. Four children were born of that union of 61 years.

Willard and Elizabeth lived in the Midwest during the early years of their marriage. Willard was a switchman on the Union Pacific and Burlington railroads. He also spent several years farming on the family farm in northwestern Nebraska.

His later years were spent in the northwestern states of Oregon and Idaho working in the civil service at Umatilla Army Depot and Mountain Home Air Force Base, where he worked as an engineer on the railroad for the federal government.

He retired from Mountain Home Air Force Base in 1983.

He lived in Mountain Home from 1973 until the death of Elizabeth in April 2000. After the death of his wife he moved to Boise and lived with his daughter. Later he moved to Denver to live with and be near his son.

Willard was active in the Mountain Home Senior Center. He enjoyed fishing, gardening and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They were a significant part of his life. He was an avid supporter of their competitive athletic endeavors.

He instilled a firm belief of excellence and achievement in his children's work ethic, his family noted. All four of his children graduated from accredited higher institutions with BS or BA degrees. The two sons also completed degrees in Master of Business and Master in Health Administration, respectively.

He is survived by: sisters Jean Goll of Riverside, Calif., and Elaine Pinney of Gering, Neb.; children, Johnna (Ronald) Jones of Hermiston, Ore., James (Nancy) Kettelhut of Denver, Colo., Larry Kettelhut of Saint Louis, Mo., Kimberly (Kenneth) Price of Boise; five grandsons, four granddaughters, three great-granddaughters, and one great-grandson.

Willard was preceded in death by his wife and parents.