John Kettlewell

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SPOTTSWOOD, Va. — It is anchors aweigh for Lt. Commander John Kettlewell, (Retired) US Navy as he headed off into the wild blue yonder on his 89th birthday, August 3. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 65 years, Norma H. Kettlewell, and they were long-time residents of Huber Heights, OH before moving to Spottswood, VA with their eldest daughter in early 2014.

John was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928 to Harry and Adele Kettlewell, both of whom preceded him in death, as did his brother, Harry Kettlewell Jr. and his son, John Kettlewell II. He is survived by daughters, Jeanne (Tony) Russell of Spottswood and Judy L. Kettlewell of Vandalia, OH; sister-in-law, Ruth Kettlewell of Findlay, OH; daughter-in-law, Alix Kispal-Kettlewell of Brookville, OH; grandchildren, April (Tony Campbell) Kettlewell, John (Jennifer) Kettlewell III, Jonathon (Mary) Kettlewell and Rebecca Waters; great-grandchildren, Taylor Abair, Payton Kettlewell, Gage Kettlewell and Brooklyn Campbell; and nieces, Dee Kline and Lori Kettlewell. He is greatly missed by his kitty, Kiki, who has been by his side for years.

John was a Naval Aviator and one of the few pilots in the world to concurrently hold ratings in lighter than air (blimps & balloons), single engine, multi-engine, and jet aircraft. He graduated from Findlay High School (Findlay, OH), Purdue University (Lafayette, IN), The US Naval Postgraduate School (Monterey, CA) and The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH). His advanced degrees were in Electrical Engineering and Weapon Systems Engineering. Some of his career highlights included duty as a Naval Flight Instructor and the Air-Launched Guided Missile Officer on the USS Ticonderoga; the designer of several one-of-a-kind digital and linear control systems including a flying spot scanner system to analyze 35mm film imagery, the color graphics display used in the M-1 tank simulator, and technology to support the USAF Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory. After serving 22 years in the US Navy and being stationed at many duty sites around the country, he and Norma retired in Huber Heights, OH near Wright Patterson AFB. During the early 1970s, he led the establishment of the engineering department at the new Marion Technical College in Marion, OH. For many years after that they loved motorhome travels and ocean cruises.

John was a loving, adventuresome guy who enjoyed and introduced his children to sports, scuba diving, photography, flying, national parks, computers, smart thinking and much more. He could fix most anything around the house or on wheels and was a great dancer with a fun sense of humor.

Special thanks to Augusta Health Hospice of the Shenandoah staff Monique, Caitlyn, and Elizabeth; Home Instead Senior Care caregivers Bobbie Jo, Amanda and Lillian; Dr. Rob Marsh; and longtime caregiver Lisa for their loving care of John.

The cremated ashes of John and Norma will be spread near their favorite duty station in Key West, FL. There will be no public services per their request. Memorials may be made to AH Hospice of the Shenandoah, P.O. Box 215, Fishersville, VA 22939.

Condolences may be shared at

Funeral Home
Charlton & Groome Funeral Home & Crematory Inc
619 Lifecore Drive
Fishersville, VA 22939
(540) 932-3600
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Published in Huber Heights Courier from Aug. 25 to Aug. 26, 2017
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