Cover photo for Jean Ketzle's Obituary
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1918 Jean 2015

Jean Ketzle

January 27, 1918 — September 16, 2015

Jean Ketzle, 97 of Aledo, died Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at Genesis Medical Center, Aledo. Funeral services will be Sunday at 2:00 PM at Speer Funeral Home, Aledo. Visitation is one hour prior to services. Burial is in Reynolds Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Hamlet Perryton Presbyterian Church. Emma Jean was born on January 27, 1918 in Osage, Iowa to Ernest “Doc” and Lona (Fuhr) Close. In 1936 she graduated from Aledo High School and later received her teaching certificate from Western Illinois State Teacher’s College. She taught for 25 years in Rock Island and Mercer Counties. At her first rural school she had 5 pupils and 5 grades. Jean married Robert Ketzle on June 14, 1941 at the Close home west of Hamlet. They were married over 64 years when he passed away on January 2, 2006. Jean joined the Hamlet Presbyterian Church at a young age and later became the church pianist. After she married Robert, she transferred her membership to the Reynolds United Methodist Church. Then in 2013, she came home to Hamlet Perryton Presbyterian church. While she was a member in Reynolds, she taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Junior church, and with her husband, they hosted Sunday evening services for Junior High Group. She was also a member of the Susannah Guild. Over the years she held many memberships including: Reynolds Women’s Club, Reynolds Garden Club, Mercer County Retired Teachers, Professional Women of Aledo, Daughters of the American Revolution and card clubs. While in Hawaii she and Robert played bridge with the retired teachers. In her younger years she enjoyed gardening and working with her flowers. After she and Robert retired, they spent 25 winters on the island of Hawaii. While in Oahu they experienced a hurricane while living on the 40th floor. They also experienced flying over to the Big Island of Hawaii to see 2 volcanoes erupting at the same time, which had not happened in over 200 years. In later years they spent their winters in Florida and Arizona. Jean and Bob were world travelers, being on all the continents but Antarctica. On Jean’s 85th birthday she sailed with her husband, great nephew, Greg Close and his wife, Brenda on the Queen Elizabeth 2 to New Zealand. Other cruises included Alaska, the Greek Islands, the Caribbean and the Panama Canal. Over the years, Jean also attended World Fairs in Chicago (1933), San Francisco (1939) and Japan (1970). Jean is survived by her sister, Ruth and her husband Jack Wirth of Holbrook, AZ; Nieces and Nephews: David & Carol Close of Reynolds, IL; Dirk & Jolene Wirth of Willow Springs, MO; Lynette Wirth & Richard Sherman of Carmichael, CA; great nieces and nephews: Greg, Brenda, Nicholas & Barbara Close; Gayle, Austin, Shelby & Connor Reid; Aaron, Staci & Jasmine Wirth; John Wirth, Joshua Wirth and Audrey & Marshall Phelps; a sister-in-law: Mary Ketzle Simpson of Pembroke Pines, FL and a brother-in-law, Clair Gobble of Mesa, AZ. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brother, Don (Mary) Close and a nephew Eric Wirth and great-nephew, Joe Reid. The family would like to thank Genesis Medical Center and Genesis Senior Living for the excellent and attentive care given to Jean during her time with them.
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