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Obituary for Chris Ketelsen
Anthon, Iowa - Chris J. Ketelsen, 81, of Anthon, Iowa died Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at his home following a brief illness. The funeral service will be Saturday, July 13 at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Anthon with Pastor Tim Chase officiating. Burial will be Bethel-Piero Cemetery in rural Oto, Iowa with military graveside honors provided by the American Legion McNiff Post #389 of Anthon. Visitation will be Friday, July 12 after 4:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. at the Armstrong Funeral Home in Anthon. The obituary can be found and condolences may directed to the family at www.armstrongfuneral.com. Christian Jens Ketelsen was born November 28, 1932, in the home of his parents, Jens and Viva (Parker) Ketelsen. He was baptized into the Lutheran faith in April of 1953 and confirmed in April of 1954. He grew up in the Anthon area, attended country school grades one through eight at Kedron #5 and graduated from Anthon High School with the class of 1950. The first two years of high school, Chris rode his horse to school and stabled it at the Osborne Sale Barn. Chris enlisted in the US Marine Corps January 18, 1952 at Omaha, Nebraska and served his country proudly in the Korean Conflict as a Machine Gunner. Upon his honorable discharge, Chris started farming. On May 28, 1955, Chris was united to Mary K. Tomkins at Trinity Lutheran Church in Anthon. To this union, six children were born Randy, Rick, Crystal, Rusty, Rod, and Amy. Chris also worked as a rancher for Dr. Batzel and a welder for Westendorf. For 34 years, he drove school bus for the Anthon-Oto School District making a multitude of young friends along the route. He drove a propane truck for Pierce Oil as well. As a devoted member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Anthon, Chris served as Sunday School Supervisor for 32 years, was an Elder, and shared the responsibility to light the candles and ring the bells at church. As a proud Marine, he was a dedicated member of the American Legion McNiff Post #389 of Anthon. If Chris signed up for a task in his church, the community or any of life's experiences, he carried it through to completion. Family was the most important focus in Chris' life, he and Mary raising their children to be faithful, hard working but fun loving people. Although he was also known, with tongue in check, to say he liked his kids but loved his horses. He broke dozens and dozens of horses throughout his life and at one point owned over 60. He was a past and proud member of the Northwest Iowa Chuck Wagon and Chariot Association. He made himself available to organize a hay ride for almost any cause from the Christmas rides when he pulled Santa, 4-H, and the "Fun in the Sun" hay rides at Little Sioux Park and everything in between. He always worked the horse gate at the annual Woodbury County Fair. He appreciated a true old west story anytime. He and Mary loved to dance together at local country western dances over the years which he missed when health problems interfered. Beloved family members surviving Chris are Mary, his wife of 57 years; his six children, Randy of Sioux City, Iowa, Rick and his wife Chris of Waterbury, Nebraska, Crystal Barto and her husband Jay of Kingsley, Iowa, Rusty of Ida Grove, Iowa, Rod and his wife Barb of Waterbury, Nebraska, and Amy Jo Ketelsen and her husband Loren "Butch" Schwarz of Kingsley, Iowa; a special daughter, Phyllis Hopp and her husband Brent of Estherville, Iowa; grandchildren, RaeAnn and Tyler, Ryssa and Gary, Mariah, Mattea, Caleb, Becky and Bruce, Bo and Angie, Katie and Brian, Jayson (preceded in death), Nichole "Buffy" and Scott, Tae and Kimber, Stace, Jordell. Lauren, Rhett, Onna and Jose;13 great grandchildren; one bother and his wife, Mike and Elaine Ketelsen of Lawton, Iowa; two brothers-in-law, Phillip Sanderson and his wife Joyce of Hornick, Iowa and Clifford Stegeman of Anthon, Iowa; along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his grandson, Jayson Barto; a daughter-in-law, Kathi Ketelsen; one brother, John "Hans" Ketelsen and his wife Sharon; two sisters, Lucia Sanderson and Catherine "Tina" King and her husband Charles "Chuck", and one sister-in-law Ernene Pokett.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Trinity Lutheran Church
After 4:00 p.m.
Armstrong Funeral Home
210 South 5th Street
Mapleton, IA 51034