Obituary: Donald Ketchum

Donald James Ketchum, a longtime Chaffey College professor and onetime resident of the Claremont Manor retirement community, died in Sandpoint, Idaho on May 25, 2016. He was 93.

He was born on February 9, 1923 in South Pasadena to Dr. William and Mabel Ketchum. Don grew up in South Pasadena, attending South Pasadena High School. He enlisted in the US Army and served as Technical Sergeant from 1943 to 1946. In 1949, he was named Outstanding Young Man of the Year by the city of South Pasadena.

After leaving the army, he returned home and married Helen Furlow, also of South Pasadena. Mr. Ketchum received his Bachelor of Science degree in applied physics from the University of California at Los Angeles and started his teaching career in 1950 at Redlands High School, instructing students in electronics. Mr. and Mrs. Ketchum moved to Ontario in 1954 and later to Upland, where they raised their four children. Don was a professor of electronics and later data processing and computer programming at Chaffey College in Ontario and Alta Loma from 1954-1981. He served as registrar at the college in 1969 and 1970. 

In retirement, the Ketchums moved to the Claremont Manor where Mr. Ketchum was an active volunteer, teaching computer classes to the other Manor residents as well as participating in Claremont Manor theater presentations. He also volunteered with the local Neighborhood Watch and Travelers Aid at Ontario Airport. In 2009, Helen and Don moved to Luther Park Senior Living in Sandpoint, Idaho. 

Mr. Ketchum was an avid water skier and performed as a trick skier at the Los Angeles County Fair. In addition to water skiing, he loved to travel and enjoyed listening to music, especially Lawrence Welk.

His wife Helen predeceased him in July of 2015. Mr. Ketchum is survived by his four children and their spouses, Ken (Randie) Ketchum of Edmonds, Washington, Kathy (Gay) Ketchum of Sherman Oaks, Jeff (Linda) Ketchum of Colton and Julie (Steve) Case of Sagle, Idaho. He also leaves 16 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, his brother and sister-in-law Marshall and Judy Ketchum and their three children Anne Marie, Bill and Ruth.

There will be a private family service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Luther Park Sandpoint Employee Fund, to support those who so lovingly cared for Don and Helen. Contributions may be sent to Luther Park at Sandpoint, 510 Olive Ave, Sandpoint, ID 83864 in memory of Don Ketchum. Family and friends are invited to sign Donald’s online guest book at



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