Frances Louis Ketch, of Bath, NY, passed peacefully into Heavenly rest on March 12, 2017.
Frances Louis Ketch, of Bath, NY, passed peacefully into Heavenly rest on March 12, 2017. She was born on July 26, 1931 in Fairbanks, Alaska, the middle daughter of Einar and Ethel Tonseth. Growing up with her sisters Shirley and Dorothy in Alaska was often an adventure – walking a mile to school even during -50 degree weather, ice skating on the flooded front lawn of the school during recess, and summer fun at the family cabin on Harding Lake south of Fairbanks.
Frances was active in the Presbyterian Church and involved in the youth group, where she met her future husband, Wayne Ketch, of Bath, New York, who was an Air Force pilot stationed in Fairbanks. Frances and Wayne continued to date during her years attending Oregon State University, where she majored in Home Economics and was a member of the Tri-Delta Sorority. Her senior project was to design and make her own wedding dress, which she wore when she and Wayne were married in Fairbanks on August 29, 1953.
Frances and Wayne spent their early years in Denver, Colorado and Coral Gables, Florida where Wayne attended college and got his MBA, and in Casper, Wyoming. In 1961, Wayne and Frances returned to Bath where they raised their children David, Laurie, and Steven. They were also the foster parents to over 20 children. Frances and Wayne were married for 59 years until his passing in 2013.
Upon moving to Bath, Frances worked as a Family Court Clerk, then joined with Wayne to manage the family business – Ketch Krest Dairy, which many longtime residents fondly remember as the best place to get ice cream in town. Following, she worked as a legal secretary for over thirty years, ending her career as the personal secretary for Steuben County Judge Peter Bradstreet.
Frances built her life on a foundation of Christian faith and was dedicated to serving God. She and Wayne were longtime members of the First Presbyterian and then Centenary United Methodist churches in Bath, serving in various capacities throughout the years, whether it be serving as Clerk of Session or volunteering to provide free meals to the needy. She loved to sing and was an enthusiastic member of the church choir.
Frances was predeceased by her parents, her sister Shirley Mazen, and her husband Wayne. She is survived by her sister, Dorothy (David) Crockett, of Salt Lake City, Utah; son David, of Norman, OK, his wife Mary, and their children Julia, Hunter, and Amelia; daughter Laurie, of Smiths Grove, KY, her husband Brian, and their children Robert, Brian Jr., and David; son Steven, of Pittsford, NY, his wife Tiphaine, and their children Gavin and Owen; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 26th at 1:00 pm, and burial will be in Bath National Cemetery, with her beloved Wayne. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Centenary United Methodist Church of Bath, NY.
Her family would like to thank the many friends, neighbors and members of the community who have been so supportive and helpful for the past several years.
Arrangements are being handled by Bond-Davis Funeral Home of Bath.