Cover photo for James F. Ketron, Sr.'s Obituary
James F. Ketron, Sr. Profile Photo
1929 James 2024

James F. Ketron, Sr.

August 12, 1929 — March 22, 2024

Northridge (Dayton)

James F. Ketron Sr., age 94 of Dayton, Ohio passed away at Hospice of Dayton on March 22nd, 2024. He was born on August 12th 1929, in Hima, Kentucky to the late Gordon and Margaret Ketron. In addition to his parents, James was preceded in death by the loving mother of his children, Ruth “Darlene” Law, his son, James Ketron Jr., and brothers Estill, Earl and Billy Ray Ketron.

James is survived by his son, Mark “Randy” Ketron, daughter, Tyra Evans (Jeff Letner), grandchildren: Melissa Evans, Mark J Ketron (Brandi Ketron), Brittany Ketron, and Cameron Evans, great-grandchildren: Tyler Strine, Alyxandria Ketron, Neveah Horne and E’lora Hembree: Brother: Wade as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

James moved from Hima, Kentucky to Kitts, Kentucky in 1936, followed by a move to Cumberland, Kentucky in 1943. In 1944, he entered Benham High School where he graduated in 1948. Following high school, he worked at Ball Brothers grocery store for a period of time before proudly joining the Navy in 1952.

His Navy training was completed in San Diego, California after three months. Once training was done, he took a short fifteen day visit back home, then went back to San Diego where he boarded the USS Menifee that headed for the Mariquias Islands via Pearl Harbor. Following a week in Pearl Harbor, he left for Guam and spent 18 months working in air navigation. James did a great deal of flying in a variety of aircraft during this time period visiting numerous islands; including Saipan and Tinian. He was often quoted throughout his life, emphatically stating that he “loved to fly”!

After this 18 month period, James was offered the easy choice of three duty stations, and chose aircraft carriers for all three. He was assigned to the USS Hancock, CVA 19. This particular carrier group had several months of gunnery training off the coast of San Diego before heading off for patrol off the coast of Korea. Brief stops at the Philippine Islands as well as Hong Kong, China were made along the way.

James was discharged from the Navy on September 25, 1956. Following discharge, he worked at Hayes Aircraft Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama. Upon leaving Hayes and pursuing potential employment at Tinker, AFB in Oklahoma City, he ended up returning to Kentucky and later found gainful employment in Dayton, Ohio at Chrysler Corporation for thirty years, ultimately retiring in 1994.

Post-retirement, James drove the Al-Can highway to Alaska and spent three weeks for a brief period of soul-searching and personal reflection.

James’ interests were many, none so-more than his children and grandchildren alike. Without fail, he would be spotted in the bleachers, stands, or on the sidelines cheering for them with the utmost pride during sporting events as well as the numerous other activities they were involved in. Many journeys, special trips, holidays, and vacations were shared resulting in timeless memories, and James loved his children and grandchildren all beyond measure as they loved him right back.

Later in life, James made the most important decision in his life in choosing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as his personal savior. The time spent in previous years worshiping at Woodland Hills Baptist Church was where the seeds of his salvation were planted.

James could often be found on the lakes fishing, boating, and camping with his family and friends. There were many weeks-long fishing trips taken with his son and brothers. The jokes and bantering, reliving the stories and legendary conquests of the old days, were endless and memorable.

Flying was chief among his personal interests and hobbies, and he would do so at every opportunity. For three years, he was a member of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) due to these interests and his passion. Being an ardent student of World War II, he could recite campaigns fought from start to finish, the South Pacific being among his favorite theater of study.

Everyone that got to know James knew they had met someone special when they did. His  kindness beyond limits, selfless generosity, positive outlook on life, and his soul-warming smile that had the ability to take away all your worries are just a starting point of why James made people feel so welcome and right at home wherever he went. Anyone who knew him instantly knew he was more than these words could ever encompass.

Family was first and foremost of importance to him. Every member of the family was loved with a unique type of great devotion. He always sought new ways to participate in their lives and to assist them in any way he possibly could to help support them to accomplish their goals and milestones, and this brought him an insurmountable joy. He was so proud of them all and would speak of their triumphs with great satisfaction.

James was a friend, mentor, and dear confidant to many. James will be dearly missed, and it will be difficult to fill the void left in our lives. However, we are thankful to have been blessed to have him in our lives for these many years. The endless amount of love shown and memories created will reside within us and keep our hearts full until we meet again.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James F. Ketron, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Morton & Whetstone Funeral Home

139 South Dixie Drive, Vandalia, OH 45377

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Morton & Whetstone Funeral Home

139 South Dixie Drive, Vandalia, OH 45377

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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