William (Bill) Ketola passed away May 25th, 2021 in Virginia, MN. William Charles Ketola was born December 30, 1938 in Virginia, MN to Edmund and Florence Ketola. Bill graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1957 and attended Macalester College in St. Paul. On August 5, 1961, Bill married his high school sweetheart, Judith Wallis, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gilbert, MN. Bill then served 2 years in the Army and was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO and was honorably discharged in 1963.
Bill worked with his Father at the family owned Ketola’s Department Store for many years. He often shared stories of his many co-workers and friends from the store. After Bill left the store, he had a number of occupations including owning and operating Bill’s Bottle Shop, roofing and selling real estate. In retirement, he continued to work and spent 11 years as a cashier at Fortune Bay Casino.
Bill was an avid curler for many years and won the MN State Mixed Championship in 1971 and MN State Men’s Championship in 1974. He enjoyed playing in bonspiels all around Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Canada. Those who knew him would recall his friendly demeanor and blue Bauer curling shoes.
Bill enjoyed hunting, fishing and the great outdoors. He loved the waters of Vermilion River and Lake Vermilion and made many memories throughout the years with his family and friends. Camping on Trout Lake was an annual event.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Edmund and Florence, brothers Jerry and John, brothers-in-law Robert, Marvin and Albert Wallis and sister-in-law Rebecca Ketola.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife of almost 60 years, Judy, as well as his children Kraig (Lisa) Ketola, Kim (Barry) Carlin and Kurt (Lisa) Ketola. Bill is also survived by his grandchildren Karen and Bill Ketola, Cale (Clarissa), Jace (Kenzie Hart) and Brady Carlin, and Ben, Charlie, and Lily Ketola and great-granddaughter Briar Mae Carlin. He is also survived by one sister-in-law, Joan Wallis, as well as several nieces and nephews who will remember their Uncle Bill fondly. Bill loved his family beyond measure, and they loved him. He and his smile will be dearly missed.
Bill will be remembered by all who knew him for his generous spirit, twinkling blue eyes, sense of humor and SISU.
A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.
Family Services provided by Bauman-Vermilion, A Bauman Family Funeral Home in Tower. To share remembrances online, please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com .
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