Ray Benjamin “ Ben” Ketchie, born October 3rd 1926, completed his earthly journey July 25, 2019, surrounded by his family at Novant Hospice House. The son of the late Martin Luther Ketchie and Maie Hoffman Ketchie. A World War II Veteran, he enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 17 and proudly served his country. On June 27, 1947, Ben married Peggy Eller Ketchie in the home he built for her. Fishing and traveling were the highlights of their adventures. He accomplished multiple trips on the Alaska Highway, 4900 miles from North Carolina to Alaska.
They were blessed with three daughters, Sue Harvell and Phyllis White (Gary) of Salisbury and Jane Lyerly (Larry) of Gold Hill. He was proud of his grandchildren and enjoyed showing them a life of adventure. They are Tommy Harvell (Julie), Jeff Harvell (Sharon), Wesley Lyerly (Crystal), Millie Lyerly (Frank), Justin White (Yas) and Caleb White. Great grandchildren are Cameron and Mackenzie Harvell, Jada Lyerly, Liyam and Shaya White, Orion and August White. He is also survived by his second wife, Audrey Hoffman Ketchie, whom he married on Dec 17th, 2013, and a sister, Georgia McDaniel of Poquoson, Virginia. When he married Audrey, he gained three bonus children, 6 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren.
Proceeding him in death in addition to his parents, were his first wife of 63 years, Peggy Eller Ketchie, son-in-law Melvin Harvell, grandson Benjamin White and eight siblings.
Ben enjoyed sharing stories of his career. He worked on the first nuclear aircraft carrier at the Newport News Shipyard and dedicated 55 years to Carolina Stalite in construction, finishing his career as plant superintendent. He was a life long member of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church. He served on church council, was President of his Sunday School class and a youth advisor.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 28th at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in the family life center from 12:30 PM to 2:15 PM.
A service of celebration will be held following visitation at 2:30 PM in the church sanctuary conducted by Revs. Gary Coble and William Ketchie.
Interment will follow in the church cemetery with Military Graveside Rites by the Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard and the United States Navy.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Building & Improvement Fund, 9275 Bringle Ferry Road, Salisbury, NC 28146.
Powles Staton Funeral Home of Rockwell is assisting the Ketchie family. Online condolences may be made at www.powlesfuneralhome.com.
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