WEST POINT, Ill. -- Virgil Lee Ketchum, 92, of the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, formerly of West Point, died at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday (Dec. 25, 2013) in IVH in Quincy.
He was born May 31, 1921, on the family farm near LaPrairie, a son of Lydia Charlotte Clark Ketchum and Fred Luzette Ketchum.
He was a LaPrairie High School alumnus and attended college in Macomb. He graduated from Colorado State College of Education (now University of Northern Colorado).
Virgil served in the U.S. Army
during World War II
with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's public relations staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) headquarters near Paris, France among other assignments in England, Germany, and France.
Before and after the war, he was a public school teacher
and principal in central Illinois and suburban Chicago. In 1961 he decided to retire from education and return to farming, purchasing and building a new home place near West Point.
Virgil enjoyed being on the farm, helping neighbors, raising Angus cattle, Morgan horses, a goat or two, and having cats and dogs around.
He also loved the mountains of the American West, especially the Rockies and the Tetons. He was an expert camper, leading students and family members, and made an eight-week expedition to Alaska in his pickup and camper on one of his later trips.
Survivors include nephews, Eugene Ketchum, Fred Ketchum, Lynn (Barbara) Ketchum, Bruce Ketchum, and Harold (LuAnn) Ketchum; and 20 great and great-grand nephews and nieces.
Virgil was preceded in death by his brothers, Frederic Ketchum and Arnold Ketchum; and by his nephew, Larry Ketchum.
SERVICES: There will be no services per Virgil's wishes. Cremation rites have been accorded. Burial will be in Golden Memorial Gardens in Golden at a later date.
VISITATION: There is no visitation.
ARRANGEMENTS: Hamilton Funeral Home, Augusta.