Helen Ketchum: Mother, college registrar, volunteer

Helen Ketchum, a longtime Claremont resident, died on July 29, 2015 at her home in Sandpoint, Idaho. She was 90.

She was born on July 10, 1925 in South Pasadena to Bennie and Hope Furlow. She married Donald Ketchum, also of South Pasadena, and moved to Ontario and later to Upland, where the couple raised their four children. 

When her children were young, Mrs. Ketchum was active as a Cub Scout leader, Girl Scout leader and Superintendent of Sunday school at the First United Methodist Church in Ontario. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational management from Pitzer College and worked as registrar at Scripps College until her retirement in 1987. What Helen loved most about her position as registrar was working with young college students.

In retirement, the Ketchums moved to the Claremont Manor retirement community, where Mrs. Ketchum was a very active volunteer docent at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG). As a volunteer docent, she enjoyed giving tours to children and marching in the Claremont Fourth of July parade with other Garden volunteers. She retired from volunteering at the RSABG after 20-plus years of service with the special honor of Nature Interpreter Emerita.

In 2009, she and Don moved to Luther Park Senior Living in Sandpoint, Idaho, where Mrs. Ketchum continued her active involvement in the First United Methodist Church. In addition to gardening, she loved dancing, music, traveling with her husband Don and spending time with her family and friends.

“Helen was always singing and skipping along life’s path,” family shared.

She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Donald; by her four children and their spouses, Ken and Randie Ketchum of Seattle, Kathy and Gay Ketchum of Sherman Oaks, Jeff and Linda Ketchum of Colton and Julie and Steve Case of Sagle, Idaho; and by 12 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also leaves her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Marshall and Judy Ketchum, and their three children.

There will be a private family service, with arrangements entrusted to the care of Coffelt Funeral Service. Friends are invited to sign Helen’s online guest book at www.coffeltfuneral.com

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Helen Ketchum’s name to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, 1500 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711.


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