Richard K. Ketchel
Richard K. Ketchel, age 93, passed away suddenly on January 2, 2021. Loving and devoted husband of Rosemary (nee Digney) for 62 years. Preceded in death by father Chester “Sticky” Ketchel and mother Helen Ketchel. Devoted father of and survived by Karen Eubank (Jim), Richard Ketchel (Anne Merryman), Patricia Ketchel (Roderick Dew) and Kimberly Ketchel (Sara Ferguson). Grandfather of 8; Jillian Stach (Sean), Kevin Ketchel, Jason Ketchel (Schai), Dylan Ketchel (Leanna), and Jessica Wurmstitch (Cole), Julianne Eubank (Matt Klinman), Jenna Eubank, and Jake Eubank. Great grandfather of 4; Samantha and Sean Stach, Kallan Ketchel and one more on the way.
Rich grew up in Riverside and enlisted in the Navy when he was 17 to serve his country during WWII in 1944. He served on Destroyer Escort 338 as a radar man, in the Atlantic and Pacific theatres. He served until the end of the war and was in New York when Germany surrendered and in San Diego when Japan surrendered. After the war he returned to Riverside, later bought a 1957 Chevy Belair and completed a degree in drafting from Temple University. He then met and married his beautiful Rosemary. They started their family in Delanco and soon became longtime residents of Delran. They had many friends throughout their lives and countless good times with them. He and Rosemary started their business, RK Metals, in 1973 and successfully ran it for 25 years before retiring. They always appreciated the help and expertise of special friends and advisors.
Rich loved sports and competitive games. He was a natural athlete and excelled at football, baseball, tennis, bocce, bowling (once bowled a perfect game at Riverside Lanes) golf (hit a hole-in-one at Indian Mills course) and was honored by the Riverside High School Hall of Fame. He loved playing pool and was still playing regularly with some of his children until age 92, and would win half the time (or more depending on who you asked). He loved cards, darts, and dice and small betting. Sportsmanship was the most important part of any game to him, and he was always a gracious winner. Rich was also an outdoorsman and loved hunting with his uncle Jule, in his earlier years, and fishing his entire life. He loved his 28’ Grady White and shared it often with family and friends. He belonged to the Spray Beach Yacht Club and was proud to take his turn as Commodore. Rich and Ro also enjoyed travelling and cruises for many years.
Throughout their lives they had residences in Cinnaminson, Beach Haven, Hobe Sound, FL and Charlottesville, VA, before returning to NJ. Rich always maintained a positive and friendly attitude and was well loved at the assisted living home where spent his last 2 years, and made many new friends. He loved to give out Hershey Kisses to residents and staff. The last night of his life he attended a pre-New Year’s Eve party and was photographed smiling and happy with his companion, Millie.
Thank you to everyone who touched his life and helped him enjoy his last few years. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. His family feels so blessed.
Burial services will be private. A celebration of life party will be held at a future date. Donations in his memory may be made to AMVETS, Wounded Warriors or the Salvation Army.