Cover photo for Jesse Leroy Ketchum's Obituary
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1931 Jesse 2022

Jesse Leroy Ketchum

August 20, 1931 — December 17, 2022

Jesse Leroy Ketchum, 91, of Kansas City, Missouri went home to be with his Lord Saturday morning, December 17, 2022, while residing in St. Louis, Missouri due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.

The son of Jesse McCain and Anna Maude (Tadlock) Ketchum, he was born on August 20, 1931 in Memphis, Missouri.

In 1953, Jesse graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia and then served in the Air Force in South Carolina. It is there he met the love of his life, and married, Helen Juanita Evans, on April 28, 1956. Married for 66 years, he will be remembered for his loving and faithful dedication to her and their three children: Karen, Terry and Kim.

He had a long career with the Federal Land Bank in St. Joseph, Missouri where he was President until he took a leave of absence in 1980 to work on a project in Egypt for four years. Upon returning to the United States, he resumed work for a few years at the Federal Land Bank in St. Louis, Missouri and retired to Mesa, Arizona. He and Juanita spent 17 years in Mesa where they continued their love of travel which included more short-term overseas projects. Jesse also was a bus driver for the Mesa School District and obtained his real estate license as well.

In 2006 they eventually moved to Liberty to enjoy being closer to family and friends. It is here their adventures continued with leisure travel, winters in Arizona, trips with grandkids and hosting many families and friends at their home. They especially enjoyed the times with friends playing cards and dominos. Jesse spent many years here locally as a volunteer at Liberty Hospital.

Wherever they lived, Jesse was a faithful Christian and active church member.  A quiet and honorable presence in the lives of those who knew him.

He is preceded in death by his parents “Mack” and Anna Maude, his brother, Dean Ketchum; brother-in-law, Bob Kutzner and brother-in-law, Wayne Mathes.

Surviving relatives include his wife, Juanita of St. Louis, MO; son, Terry Ketchum and Mary Sadler of Kansas City, MO; two daughters: Kim (Ron) Sickels of Liberty, MO, and Karen Underwood of St. Louis, MO; grandchildren: Tara Ketchum of Kansas City, MO, Ryan (Trish) Underwood of St. Louis, MO, Matthew (Alicia) Underwood of St. Louis, MO, Casey Underwood and husband Nick Hanger of St. Louis, MO; great-grandchildren: Macklin, Miles, Riley and Tate; a sister: Anna Jean Mathes of Bolivar, MO; sister-in-law: Ruth Ketchum of Mesa, AZ; along with multiple nieces and nephews and their families.

Visitation will begin at 1:30 pm, followed by a service celebrating Jesse’s life at 2:00 pm, on Saturday, January 7, 2023, at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, 1600 North State Route 291, Liberty, MO.  A private burial was held in Memphis, Missouri on December 21, 2022.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials at Gideons International or to the Parkinson’s Foundation.

Service Information:

Visitation will begin at 1:30 pm, followed by a service celebrating Jesse’s life at 2:00 pm, on Saturday, January 7, 2023, at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, 1600 North State Route 291, Liberty, MO.  A private burial was held in Memphis, Missouri on December 21, 2022.

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