I was born in Racine, Wisc. November 16, 1923, to Marie and Edgar Johnson and preceded in death by my husband, Joseph Ketarkus, Sr., son Joseph Ketarkus, Jr., and brothers Dan and Bob.
I was a Catholic my entire life. I graduated from Park High School in 1942 and attended class reunions for sixty-five years. I married Joe Ketarkus in 1946.In the 1950s you didn’t think about having kids; you just did. After having three children I finished night school secretarial training courses and in 1964 returned to work outside the home. Working my way up from payroll clerk to career executive secretary fueled and fulfilled my sharp mind. I was fortunate to work in offices for people of integrity, men who appreciated my proficient office skills and respected my contributions. After my retirement, in 1987, my former boss called me each Secretary’s Day until 2007.
I kept moving with daily exercise, Aquacize at the Y and folk dance; my entire life I was a fine dancer. I had a life-long love affair with Mother Nature; she would reset my mind. “The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best.”—Thomas Jefferson
I kept my hands busy for decades by practicing creativity sewing, knitting and cooking. I also enjoyed playing Bridge and Schafskopf.
Like many of my generation I lived frugally and carefully. While facing major roadblocks like we all do, I was grateful when life’s simple moments caught and redirected my attention and helped ground my active mind. I was glad to provide a sounding board for others tackling their own challenges.
Survived by my son, Paul Ketarkus (Sheri), U.S; daughter, Mary Brown (Tom), Geneva, IL; daughter-in-law Karin Ketarkus (Madison, WI); two grandsons, Joseph III and Christopher, twelve great-grandchildren, cousin, nieces and nephew and friends. Hey, I pretty much outlived everyone I knew. Strong wit and strong mind. And all that walking.
On behalf of myself and family, heartfelt thanks to: niece Cecilia Johnson for her positivity, niece Cathy Stanek for our talks, Ray Johnson for his kindness and son-in-law, Tom Brown for the solid respect he always showed me.
I wish to acknowledge the respectful care shown to me as a resident of St. Monica’s Senior Living. Queen-size gratitude to amazing friends Joanne McSweeney and husband Mike for their pure, unconditional love and hours of help.
My favorite quotation, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:23.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church, 1904 Green St., Racine, WI. Visitation will begin at 10 AM, by Mass at 11 AM. Private interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Hwy. 32.
Please, no flowers. Memorials may be directed to The Eco-Justice Center of Racine/Environmental Education 5635 Erie Street, Racine, WI 53402 (262) 639-4100 https://www.racinedominicans.org/eco-justice/eco-jdonation.cfm
Purath-Strand Funeral Home & Crematory
3915 Douglas Avenue
Racine, WI 53402