NEW HAMPTON - Barb Marie (Wilson) Kettenring was born in Altadena, Calif. on March 7, 1948 and grew up with her parents Laurens Hardy Wilson and Elsie Margaret (Scott) Wilson in La Canada, Calif. She received her BA and a California Teaching Credential from UCLA. She later received a Master's Degree from Cal State Northridge and most recently she completed the Reading Specialist program at Plymouth State University.
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Barb met her future husband, Kenneth N. Kettenring, on a geologically recent lava flow in the Sonoran Desert of Mexico while she was still a student at UCLA. She was a climber, caver, teacher, sports fanatic, mother, wife, friend and all-around wonderfully wild woman (WWW).
Among Barb's early adventures was a trip in the late 1960's with the UCLA Mountaineers to the Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of the Swallows) in the Municipality of Aquismón San Luis Potosí, Mexico. A visit to this cave involves repelling down an 1100 foot free-fall drop and then climbing back up the rope using climbing aids. Another adventure involved climbing to the top of Yosemite Falls, a late season snow storm, an unfortunate encounter with a hungry raccoon and an unanticipated helicopter ride (which she almost turned down).
Barb's first job was teaching all-day kindergarten in Kayenta, Ariz. on the Navajo Reservation where she worked with a bilingual aide and did her best to learn the basics of the Navajo language. Over the years she taught at all primary and secondary levels plus adult education, English as a Second Language and tutoring. Doing so she affected many lives and gained many life-long friends.
Barb left the sunny southwest for the Saint Croix River Valley of northern Wisconsin to marry Ken who was teaching at a branch campus of the University of Wisconsin. As a faculty wife Barb was an active participant in intramural broomball and volleyball and joined canoe trips and cross-country ski parties with the students. She also worked with a program providing assistance to Native American Head Start Programs and did volunteer archival work at the University library.
Barb's next stops were Albuquerque, N.M., where her daughter, Marie Elizabeth, was born and New Hampton, where her son, Stuart Laurens, was born.
Barb hasn't done anything since arriving in New Hampshire (and if you believe that she has title to a bridge we would like to sell you).
Barb died Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013.
She is survived by husband, Ken; daughter, Marie; son, Stuart; sisters, Laurel King and Cathy Vergara; brother, Laurens Scott Wilson; mother-in-law Virginia Kettenring; 17 brothers/sisters-in-law; 16 nieces; 15 nephews; 15 grandnieces/nephews and numerous close friends.
A Quaker Memorial Service will be held Saturday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m. in North Sandwich Friends Meetinghouse, 354 Quaker Whiteface Road, North Sandwich.
If you wish you may make donations to the
, Two Commerce Drive, Suite 110, Bedford, 03110-6803 in lieu of flowers.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant St., Laconia, is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial go to wilkinsonbeane.com.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home
164 Pleasant Street Laconia, NH 03246
Published in The Concord Monitor on Sept. 25, 2013