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In Remembrance Of

Diane Ketter

Diane Elizabeth (Ray) Ketter, formerly of Ashland, MO, passed away suddenly May 16, 2024.

Diane was born May 27, 1950, to Dennis and Mary Alice (Highhouse) Ray in Erie, PA. As the oldest of four siblings, she learned at an early age how to delegate tasks. She was a “doer” by nature and an entrepreneur at an early age, raising chickens and selling the eggs. She remained a “doer” her entire life, and was always the first to volunteer for any needs she saw.

She graduated from Highland High School in Medina, Ohio, and then from the Akron School of Nursing. After graduation in 1971, Diane joined the Navy and was stationed in Portsmith, VA. While there, she met the love of her life, Jim, who was also in the Navy. They married on Feb. 10, 1973, during a historic blizzard in Virginia Beach. After discharge from the Navy, they settled in mid Missouri, where Jim was born and raised.

Diane continued her nursing studies and received both her MA and FNP degrees from the University of Missouri. She taught clinical nursing to Mizzou students and also worked in the student health clinics at both Mizzou and Columbia College. 

Diane and Jim lived in Ashland, Missouri, for 29 years in a passive solar house they designed and built together on 76 wooded acres. They raised their three children there, along with a menagerie of pets. The Ketter household was especially active when the kids were teenagers. Diane always welcomed an extra two or three, or ten, at the dinner table.

A picture of courage and tenacity, Diane was a Captain in the Navy Reserves. As a Navy nurse, her reserve unit was called to active duty to staff a mobile hospital in Bahrain during Desert Storm. Her incredible perseverance helped her become a breast cancer survivor in 2008. 

Diane loved gardening, thrifting, sewing, puzzles, spending time with her family, and traveling. She and Jim took several river cruises in Europe, visited their son Daniel in Taiwan, saw the Great Wall of China, and in 2023 they celebrated their 50th anniversary in Hawaii. Diane’s grandchildren were the light of her life, and she enjoyed numerous trips with them to Branson. 

Diane was a faithful servant to the Lord, working with the youth at Ashland Baptist for many years, serving as sound technician at Linden Baptist Church in Gladstone, and volunteering on the board of the Kansas City Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. She said, “Being able to pray with hurting people and offer hope and encouragement is both humbling and gratifying.” She was a consummate caregiver, welcoming foster children and foreign exchange students into her home, and caring for her parents during their later years.

Diane is survived by her beloved husband, Jim; children Jason (Traci), Daniel, and Lauren (Josh); siblings David Rea (Hassell), “adopted” sibling Judy McElroy (Russ), Dale Sawan (Curt), and Deborah Engel (Stan); grandchildren Simon, Hannah, Miles, Amelia, and Ella; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

The family will host a Celebration of Diane’s Life on May 25 at 2 p.m. at Linden Baptist Church, located at 611 NE 69th St, Gladstone, MO 64118. Fellowship to follow at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, World Vision, or the charity of your choice.

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Comments & condolences

13 comments

  • The Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri

    The Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri sends our sincere condolences for your loss. We are so grateful to be thought of in this difficult time for your family. We are praying for all who loved Diane to have the comfort of the Holy Spirit, the hope of God’s promises and joy in the gift of your memories now and always.

  • Mary Stueve and Colleen (Kenny)Gartner

    Jim and family, Colleen and I send our condolences for the loss of Diane.

  • Linda Detring

    I’m so very sorry to learn of Diane’s passing. I was in the Navy reserves with Diane for a number of years. We served together at the Headquarters Detachment in Olathe Kansas and then in Bahrain. She was an excellent nurse and mentor and a warm and caring friend. I pray that family may find peace and comfort in the days ahead.

  • Randy Brinkmann

    Fair winds and following seas, shipmate…

  • Sarah Micula

    I met Diane in 2021 when my husband and I took up leadership at The Salvation Army Kansas City Northland where Diane served on the Advisory Council (in addition to serving on TSA KC Women’s Aux!). Diane was such a joy to work with. Always willing and ready – very mission-minded. Truly a faithful woman I’m honored to have known! Many prayers to Jim and the family as they grieve and celebrate a life well done. Love, the Miculas

  • Johnathan and Kristina Smith

    Jim and kids, we are shocked and saddened to hear of Diane’s passing. She was an inspiration to all who knew her. She lived a life of service to God, country, and family which leaves a tremendous legacy for us to follow. May God comfort you all as you look forward to seeing her again one day. ❤️

  • Janet and Billy Keeling

    So very sad to hear of DIanne’s passing. My prayers during this difficult time.
    Our sympathy, Janet and Billy

  • Stanley Casady

    Prayers for the family.

  • Barrett K. Parker

    Diane was a blessing to all who crossed her path, and even more-so to family and friends. Thank you for always welcoming us with open arms. Rest in peace with our Lord Jesus Christ cousin.

  • Debbie Collins

    Deb, I am so sad to hear of the passing of your sister. Such a tragedy. I know she will be missed greatly by your entire family. She sounded like a wonderful giving person. I want to let you know you are all in my thoughts and prayers at such a difficult time.

  • Duane and Virginia MacWilliams

    Diane was like a sister to me. We grew up cousins, but we were so much more than that. My memories will forever be of our laughter, share secrets, puzzles, thrifting, crying when we needed it. I was blessed to have Diane in my life.

  • Deborah ( Weiss) Weinberg

    I already miss my oldest friend; knowing you were in this world was a comfort. Your light shined bright, & I’ll miss our 3 hour phone calls…Larry & I send our deepest sympathies to your special family, who I know will miss you deeply.
    Till we meet up again,
    Love,
    Deb & Larry Weinberg

  • Rhonda Monnig

    I will miss saying hi to her on every sunday

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