Obit: Ketel, John Emil (1879 - 1949)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Ketel, Gilman, Gerrold, Alexander, Griffin

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) August 4, 1949

Ketel, John Emil (25 June 1879 - 1 August 1949)

Masonic Service Today for J. Emil Ketel, 70 - Widely-Known Neillsville Man Dies Suddenly on Monday;

Masonic funeral services will be held here at 2 p.m. today for Emil Ketel, 70, widely-known resident of Neillsville who died suddenly late Monday afternoon following a heart attack.

Long a roving ambassador of goodwill for Neillsville, Mr. Ketel had recently returned from a stay of several months on the West Coast. There he sang the praises of Wisconsin - and Neillsville in particular - as he has done on his journeys in the past.

The heart attack struck about 5:50 p.m. Monday as he was visiting friends. He sat in a chair, and was dead an instant later.

The body has been lying in state in the Bergemann Funeral Home, and is to be removed to the Masonic Temple just before the time of the service. Burial will be made in the Neillsville City Cemetery.

Born John Emil Ketel on June 25, 1879, he was an active athlete in his youth, and made a wide reputation as a football player. Later he served in the Spanish-American War, and following this experience he became a salesman for an Eau Claire concern.

He later moved to Ladysmith, where he established a wholesale business, which he operated until his retirement in 1938. Retiring was not easy for Mr. Ketel, however. He returned to Neillsville from Ladysmith, and a few months later he had opened a cabinet-making shop in the Carl building, where he worked as he wished. His greatest pleasure in this time was the refinishing or repairing of some antique piece of furniture. These he handled with a gentleness which bespoke of great respect for early wood craftsmen. He frequently went into the history of an antique piece, noting someplace on the piece the history behind it: where it was made, how it reached Clark County, and by whom it was brought here.

Active in civic and financial affairs of Neillsville many years ago, Mr. Ketel was a charter member of the Neillsville Kiwanis Club; was the secretary for several years of the Clark County Agricultural Society, which operates the county fair; was a director of the old Dairy Exchange Bank of Neillsville. In Ladysmith he served a term as president of the Commercial Club.

His Masonic ties were several, including membership in the Mystic Tie, Lodge No. 280, of the F. and A. M.; the Kedron chapter No. 83, R.A.M., of Ladysmith; and the Eau Claire consistory.

He was married November 8, 1905, to Edna Gilman in Neillsville.

Surviving besides the widow are a daughter, Mrs. Mary K. Gerrold of Port Washington; and two grandchildren, John and Paula Gerrold. Also surviving are three brothers and two sisters: Fred Ketel of St. Helens, Ore.; Arthur Ketel of Portland, Ore.; Rudolph Ketel of Vancouver, Wash.; Ann Alexander of Vancouver, Wash.; and Susan Griffin of San Pedro, Cal.



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