July 27, 1927 — April 16, 2016
Former Yuba College chemistry instructor Robert Ketelle died April 16 at the age of 88.
He was born on a farm in Edmore, N.D., on July 27, 1927.
He is survived by Betty Jane Ketelle, his wife of 65 years, and four daughters: Mary, Elizabeth (David Publicover), Diane, and Robin (Dale Grahn).
In addition, he leaves three grandchildren: August, Emma, and Lucas.
He is also survived by brothers Dick and Bill.
He died at home surrounded by his
Robert was a veteran of WWII. He enlisted in the Navy after high school graduation in 1945 and served with distinction as a corpsman assigned with the Marines. While in the service he was an undefeated welterweight boxer. Some of Robert’s best years were spent in Marysville, Washington, and later Marysville served as a home base for attending Pacific Lutheran University.
It was here that Robert met
The GI Bill enabled Robert to attend Pacific Lutheran University, graduating in 1950 and 1951 with BS and BE degrees, respectively. After several years of teaching, Robert accepted a National Science Foundation grant to the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he earned his master’s degree. In 1963 he accepted the position of chemistry instructor at Yuba College in Marysville, CA. Robert worked in that capacity until he retired in 1987.
Robert was consumed with a love for both the subject matter found in chemistry and the thousands of students he taught. His interest in chemistry is reflected in the fact that he accepted six National Science Foundation grants during his career.
Robert’s chief claim to fame was his wife Betty. She gave him four daughters, three of whom earned master’s degrees and one a doctorate.
Robert’s wife and daughters gave meaning to his life, along with his colleagues at Yuba College and his great friends in Roseville, CA.
A lesser claim to fame came from golf. Robert hit a total of five holes in one, all witnessed, five accidents.
Robert was a member of Plumas Lake Golf Club, as well as Sun City courses in Roseville.
Private services will be held later. Robert has requested that his ashes be spread on the family farm near Edmore, North Dakota, the place of his birth.