Frances McLean Ketcheson

March 25, 1922 – April 27, 2013

She went to church on Sunday and sang in the choir, as she almost always did. Early in the week she played bridge and ate dinner with her good friends, attended her weekly Chocolate Society meeting, and gazed at the stars at the visiting Hubble telescope program. She was on the move, as always.

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, Frances McLean Ketcheson died in Davis.

Frances was born March 25, 1922, in Kent, Wash., the exuberant third child of Charles and Mildred McLean. Her father was a barrel maker and farmer and her mother an adventuresome teacher and commensurate gardener. Her mother was one of the first women to hike to the 10,000-foot Mount Rainier Muir base camp in 1915.

The spirited tradition of her family was not lost on her when she graduated as valedictorian at Prosser High School in Washington in 1940. After graduation, she became a secretary to the dean of the engineering school at the University of Washington, where she also attended classes. It is there that she caught the eye of David Ketcheson, an engineering student, after he served and was wounded in France during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. They were married in 1949.

David and Frances lived in Detroit for a time and then in various places in California, including Ontario, Reedley, Auburn and finally Meadow Vista for 40 years.

She was a faithful member of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Auburn, where she was an accomplished organist and member of the choir.

She loved playing bridge with her many friends and grandchildren, her annual making and “turning” of the plum pudding with friends and family, and her Kentucky Derby parties where (under the table) bets were taken and Uncle Pete’s famous mint juleps were served. She also enjoyed Christmas caroling each season. She had fond memories of rich vegetable and flower gardens, and of successfully growing a magnolia tree in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

An enthusiastic supporter of the Davis High School Madrigals, Frances rarely missed a concert and relished her travels with the choir to Boston, New York, London, and Wales.  She took great joy in her association with the Madrigals and was especially delighted to have had the honor of high lady one year at the Madrigal dinner.

During her final years she lived at the University Retirement Community in Davis where she was a formidable bridge opponent and outgoing friend to many. Although short in stature, she will be remembered at the URC as the doting mother and grandmother of her descendants, all of whom loved her and many of whom are quite tall.

Mrs. Ketcheson is survived by her son Tom of Santa Fe, N.M., and daughter Kathleen Doty (Paul) of Davis. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Caitlin Ketcheson, Amy Ketcheson, Bethany Batterbee (Adam), Samuel Doty and Jesse Doty; three great-grandchildren, Saige, Kade and Elias Ketcheson; her niece Mary Jane Luther (Sandy Muller); as well as numerous other adoring nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband David, son Bruce and grandson Jason.

A memorial service will be held at University Retirement Community, 1515 Shasta Drive in Davis, at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1.

Special to The Enterprise

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