Frances Kettelson


ONALASKA — Frances Anita Kettelson (Bakke), 84, of Onalaska died Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, at Springbrook Assisted Living in Onalaska.

She was born Aug. 8, 1933, in Westby, to Conrad and Ruth (Stalsberg) Bakke. She graduated valedictorian of the class of 1951, from Westby High School, and attended Lutheran Deaconess Nursing School in Minneapolis, graduating in 1954. She married Sheldon Kettelson of Minooka, Ill., Jan. 23, 1960, at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Westby.

Fran and Sheldon raised their family primarily in Westby and Belvidere, Ill. Fran had deep love for her family and her biggest joy was her “precious” grandchildren, who she loved to spoil with toys and sweets. They retired in Minnesota (Rochester, 1992 then Wabasha, 1997). They enjoyed traveling and camping in their RV. Fran and Sheldon were truly soulmates and it was obvious how much they were in love when you saw them together. Fran also had a great sense of humor and loved to tease everyone she cared for.

She was proud of her Norwegian heritage.

Fran was a devoted Christian and was active in her church, most recently Anchor Point, in Wabasha, Minn. She served as a role model for her children and for many members of her church community.

Fran was a dedicated and respected nurse, working at the bedside into her young 70s.

Among places she worked as a nurse: Vernon Memorial Hospital, Viroqua, Quaker Oats, Rockford, Ill., Chrysler Corp., Belvidere, Ill., Norseland Nursing Home, Westby, and St. Elizabeth’s Health Care Center, Wabasha.

Fran is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Ann and Leo Ford, Chicago; son and daughter-in-law, Ryan and Karen Kettelson, Holmen; four grandchildren, Joseph and James Ford and Emma and Jacob Kettelson; sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn (Bakke) and Bill Keefer, Houston, Texas; sister-in-law, Irene Bakke, Janesville, Wis.; nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by husband, Sheldon James Kettelson; son, Richard Karl Kettelson; parents, Conrad and Ruth (Stalsberg) Bakke; brothers, Richard, Harvin, and David Bakke; and sister-in-law, Diane Bakke.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, at Abbott Funeral Home in Wabasha, with Pastor Paul Langmade officiating. Interment will be at Riverview Cemetery in Wabasha. Casket bearers will be Joseph and James Ford, Katrina, and Maxine. Honorary bearers will be Emma and Jacob Kettelson. Family and friends may call one hour before the service Thursday at the funeral home.

The family prefers memorials to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or to Standup to Cancer, PO Box 843721 Los Angeles, CA, 90081-3721.

The Abbott Funeral Home of Wabasha is in charge of arrangements.


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