Herschel was born Jan. 15, 1933, in Metcalf to Alvin and Rosa (Chapman) Ketchem. He married Rosalie Newhart in 1955 and had two daughters, Laura (Robert) Bogue and Jayne (Tim) Brown, both of Paris. She preceded him in death. On Nov. 3, 1967, he married Ruth Ann Wright. She preceded him in death on May 6, 1999. From this union, he is survived by two daughters, Kimberly (Doug) LeLoup of Chrisman and Alice Ketchem (Eric Otto) of Indianapolis.
He is also survived by eight grandchildren, Rusty (Ann), Bradley (Danielle), Riley and Casey Bogue, Travis (Shanda) Brown, Lyndsey (Derek) Norman and Tyler and McKenzie LeLoup; five great-grandchildren, Brodix, Kindall and Mary Jo Bogue and Jolie and Bristol Brown; and two sisters, Shirley (Bud) Haddix of Chrisman and Barbara Todd of Watseka.
He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, Russell.
Mr. Ketchem served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1955, attained the rank of staff sergeant and completed an overseas tour of duty from 1952-1953 during the Korean War. He worked at Leath Furniture Store in Danville until its closing and later retired from Newport Army Ammunition Plant in 1999.
He graduated from Reppert Auction School in 1950, and this became his lifelong passion. Whether auctioning from the block or bidding with his lucky number 13, Herschel enjoyed the thrill of a bargain!
He was a member of the Lions Club, Chrisman American Legion Post 477, Paris VFW Post 3601, Paris Masonic Lodge 268 for over 50 years, and the Ansar Shrine. He served for 16 years as commissioner on the city of Chrisman board.
Herschel never met a stranger and enjoyed conversations with his pals at area restaurants. He enjoyed music and, unbeknown to many, could play piano by ear. He will be greatly missed.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 15, 2012, at Krabel Funeral Home in Chrisman, with Masonic services starting at 7 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 16, 2012, at the funeral home. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery in Chrisman with military rites by Chrisman American Legion Post 477.
For those who wish, memorials may be made to the Danville VA Palliative Care Unit, where he and his family were treated with the utmost care and respect.