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Ilone Mary (Oster) Ketter

May 4, 1919 ~ November 24, 2021 (age 102)


Lifelong resident of St Francis, Ilone Mary Ketter, age 102, passed away early Wednesday morning November 24, 2021 at the Rawlins County Health Center.  She was born May 4, 1919 to Nick and Merle (Bretthauer) Oster on a farm southeast of Wheeler, Kansas.

Shortly after she was born, she moved with her parents and older sister Leone to a small farm southeast of St Francis.  Two younger sisters, Doris and Carole were born there. She attended school through 8th grade at Sunny Ridge District 44 and high school in St Francis, graduating with the class of 1938.  She married Celestine (Sally) Ketter on August 10, 1938, in St Francis.  The newlyweds made their home in St Francis, where their first child was born. Shortly after they purchased a farm southeast of St Francis, where their family continued to grow.  Within 10 years the family was complete when twins “unexpectedly” brought the number of children to six, three girls and three boys that all attended the same country school and high school as their mother.  Ilone an excellent cook, baked a cake or cookies nearly every day before packing school lunches, and would make a meal for her growing family and any unexpected guests at a moment’s notice, from whatever she had on hand.

After her children were grown, she launched a new career as an employee and businesswoman.  She worked at the Good Samaritan Village for a short time, then began cooking at the Wheel Inn Cafe and eventually became owner.  Later, she purchased Daylight Donut Shop in St Francis which she operated until the death of Celestine in 1979.  Over the years, Ilone participated in BPW and chamber of commerce activities.  After retirement she enjoyed traveling, playing bingo and cards, volunteering at the senior center as a cook, the thrift store cashier, and cards with residents at the Good Samaritan Village.  She was a active member of the St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and Christian Mother’s Alter Society, and known to bake for many benefits and food sales.  Ilone remained in her own home and loved looking forward to visits with friends and family. 

She is survived by her children: Connie Johnson of Liberal; Karen (Vernon) Isaac of Goodland; Kenneth (Sherryl) Ketter of Kanorado; Gary Ketter of Dayton, OH; Sherry (Don) Gilliland of Bird City; 18 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren; and a host of family and friends.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Nick and Merle; in-laws, John and Clara Ketter; husband, Celestine; son, Ronald (Sally); grandson, Ricky Johnson; granddaughter in-law, Kari Gilliland; sisters, Leone (Claude) McDaniel, Doris (Leonard) Hahn, Carole (Harold) Black; sisters-in-law, Frances (Leonard) Turk, Mildred (Orville) Volker.

Information and online condolences www.batemanfuneral.com


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Recitation of the Rosary
November 28, 2021

3:30 PM
Knodel Funeral Home
202 South Benton Street
St. Francis, KS 67756

Mass of Christian Burial
November 29, 2021

10:30 AM
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
625 River Street
St. Francis, KS 67756

Interment following funeral service
November 29, 2021

St. Francis Cemetery
1539 Road P
St. Francis, KS 67756

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