In Memoriam: David Dow Ketchum


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of retiree David Dow Ketchum on January 26, of complications from a fall taken during Hurricane Sandy at his Ipswich home. He was 89.

Born in Cohasset, the son of Kenneth Dow Ketchum and Helen Luchars Ketchum, he attended the Asheville School in North Carolina and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

During World War II, he served in the Navy in the Pacific on the PT tender Orestes, and in Japan during the Korean War.

David began his career at WHOI in 1955 as an electronic engineer.  In 1958, he was promoted to research associate in Electronics.  He left in 1963.

David served on the board of the Upper Cape Cod Regional Vocational Technical School during its construction.

In the 1970s he moved to the greater Boston area to join Electronics Corporation of America, where he worked until his retirement. During his years as an Ipswich resident he was active in town affairs and a member of the Ipswich Democratic Committee.  He was known as a prolific writer of “Letters to the Editor” of the Ipswich Chronicle. A lifelong sailor and an engineer by training and inclination, he spent his retirement improving his Ipswich home and engaged in endless projects beside and upon the sea.

He was the husband of the late Joan Gray Ketchum. He leaves his former wife, Nancy Wendell Ketchum. He also leaves seven children and stepchildren, Margaret Ketchum Powell, Kenneth Dow Ketchum, John Wendell Ketchum, Adelaide Lathrop Ketchum, Katherine Despard Ketchum Moore, Raymond Thorne and Vanessa Gray; many grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and a close friend, Francis Fitzgerald.

A memorial gathering will be held in the spring.

Donations in his memory may be made to Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, 1200 Centre Street, Boston, MA, 02131.

Information for this obituary was taken from the Falmouth Enterprise.


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