BENKELMAN -- Leon E. "Cy" Ketler, 94, died Monday (Sept. 30, 2002) at Dundy County Hospital in Benkelman. He was born June 9, 1908, to John Clyde and Ethel B. (Ballard) Ketler on their farm in Cheyenne County, Kan., and as a young boy, he attended country school near his home. He later attended Benkelman High School where he was a member of the graduating class of 1929, and went on to attend Peru College. In 1942, he was called to serve his country in World War II, and upon receiving his honorable discharge, returned to Benkelman where he helped his family in operating their cafe.
On Aug. 12, 1954, he married Blanche A. "Sally" Bowers at Raton, N.M. They returned to Benkelman where they purchased the Ketler Café from his parents and continued its operation until 1961. In 1964, he became the Veteran Service Officer for Dundy County until his retirement in 1996. He was a lifetime member of the American Trapshooting Association, the American Legion and VFW, and was a member of Justice Lodge 180 A.F. & A.M.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Blanche "Sally" Ketler in 1998; sister, Fern Lewis; and brothers, Merle Ketler and Daune Ketler.
Survivors include nieces, Phyllis and husband, Kenneth Gardner of Max, Pat and husband, Bud Cline of Benkelman, Carol and husband, Gary Maine of Kearney, Lana and husband, Rod Wiese of Benkelman; nephews, Vance Lewis and wife, Ida Mae of Springfield, Mo., Bill Ketler and wife, Marge of Phoenix, Ariz., Larry Ketler and wife, Marta, Gary Ketler and wife, Peg all of Goodland, Kan.; aunt, Marie Curry of Winter Park, Fla.; step-children, Zetta "Annie" and husband, Clifford Oakley of McCook, Sally Vontz of North Platte, Jerry Wonderly and wife, Robin of Bartley, Rexene and husband, Dennis Johnson of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Rita and husband, Lawrence Herron of McCook and Terri Propes of Phoenix, Ariz.;14 step-great-grandchildren, 12 step-great-great grandchildren, and numerous other great nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be Thursday, 1:30 p.m., at Forch Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Norman Prather officiating. Interment with military honors will follow services at the Benkelman Cemetery.
Visitation is today until 7 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of usual remembrances, memorials may be given in his name to the Dundy County Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 85, Benkelman, NE 69021.
Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman is in charge of arrangements.