In memory of

Val Ray Ketchum, age 77, of Helena

November 12, 1936 – February 8, 2014

KETCHUM, Val R., age 77, of Helena, passed away Saturday, February 8, 2014.  

Val Ray Ketchum was born on Nov 12, 1936 In Wenatchee Washington to Maurine and Alfred Ketchum. He attended grade school and middle school in Chelan WA. And upon graduating 8th grade he began his professional career at the Howe Sound Mine in Chelan. On March 9, 1957 he married the love of his life Bonnie Gail Pederson and they made homes for themselves in Wenatchee WA, Idaho, and finally stopping in Helena where Val started as a roofer and tinner. He eventually worked his way to become a journeyman sheet metal worker and pipefitter. Val’s career spanned many companies including his own and he retired from Jack’s Technical Assistance in Feb. of 2003. Val’s devilish nature, intelligence, and generosity made it easy to be his friend. His “no nonsense” honesty made him easy to trust. He chose to spend his life helping people, even if they didn’t know they needed his help and that made him easy to love.

Val passed away on Feb. 8, 2014 from heart failure. He left this world as he lived in it, helping his neighbors. Val was preceded in death by his twin sister Violet Leib, his wife of 45 years Bonnie, and his daughter Lori. He is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law: Lynn and Robyn, Kirk and Becky, Shawn and Marilyn Jacobs all of Helena. eleven grandchildren: Arley, Krista, Alicia, Alex, Amber, Michael, Amy, Nikki, Toni, Kacie, Avery, Trevor, Logan, Samantha and Sarah along with many foster grandchildren. He is also survived by 7 great grandchildren: Mikayla, Kaylee, Jezabel, Ezmarelda, Kaeden, Mariah, and Ben, and all of the many people who knew him as “My friend Val”.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, February 21, 2014 at Retz Funeral Home Chapel with burial to follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 7100 N. Montana Ave., Helena. Reception will follow at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave, Helena. Please visit  below to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Val.


Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Jerrilee Matson says

    Tim, Christa and I were saddened to hear of Uncle Val’s passing. I am thankful for what, unfortunately, was our last long talk on the phone last month. I never tired of listening to his stories. For me he was a charming character and I will miss him. Our deepest condolences to the brothers and their families.

  2. Leona Zaharko says

    My deepest sympathies go out to Val’s family. I know what a wonderful man he was. He will be sadly missed.

  3. Jack and Sue Campbell says

    Val, you will be sadly missed at Monday morning breakfast. Your wit and humor was always enjoyed. You will be sadly missed as a “good friend” . Good friends are hard to come by. Our deepest sympathy to all of Val’s family.

  4. Shari Ketchum says

    Devilish nature is so true. Pop will be greatly missed. So sorry to his family, may he rest in peace with Ma.

  5. George, Julie & Lani Contival says

    We are so sorry for your loss. We remember Val at the annual New Years Day bash at Lynn & Robyn’s always thinking what a nice sized family. Peace and comfort during this time.

  6. Lisa Kleeman says

    Val was a wonderful and thoughtful man. He made me laugh at times that where very hard in my life. His good advise and great stories about his family will be missed. thoughts and prays for his family.

  7. Shawn, My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this time of sadness.

  8. Mary & Bobby Kesterson says

    I know you must feel such a deep grief…The love of a dad can never be replaced,except by the love of the Heavenly Father.I am so glad that we got to meet Val this summer.
    May God be with you during this time..

  9. amber rands says

    I miss my grampa he will be misst a hol lot love amber mae ketchum rands

  10. Rob & Gail Ricker says

    It was sad to hear of Val’s passing. Although we did not know Val well, from the brief meetings we had with him (playing pool with Lynn at the Hub) we knew him to be a wonderful person and father. Our deepest sympathies to all the Ketchum family.

  11. we are saddened to hear of Val,s passing one great guy .

  12. Kathryn O'Connell says

    So sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in our prayers, friend.
    Kathryn and Rob

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