Roland Ketterling

Roland Ketterling

Roland Hugo Ketterling, 83, Bismarck, passed away Feb. 9, 2019 in his home with his wife and family.

Funeral services will be at Calvary United Methodist Church, Bismarck, at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15. Interment will be at the North Dakota Veteran Cemetery, Mandan. Visitation will be one hour before the service at the church.

Roland was born in his parents’ home Sept. 16, 1935, to Gottlieb G. and Pauline (Sayler) Ketterling. He was the second son of four children. Roland grew up on the family farm 10 miles north of Zeeland and attended Frieda District #4 rural school, speaking mostly German and learned to speak English. Roland was baptized and confirmed at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, north of Zeeland. He was a member there for many years, and all three of his children were baptized and confirmed at St. Andrews.

Roland loved playing baseball, starting at the age of 14 into his early 30s, with the Zeeland Midgets baseball team. He especially enjoyed playing with his brothers, Ray and Cliff. They played other towns in the area and they were known as the “Ketterling Boys.” He was a gifted pitcher, learning how from his father, and was always being recruited.

Roland joined the National Guard in Wishek in 1960 and served for six years.

Roland married his sweetheart, Lorraine (Fetzer) Ketterling Oct. 5, 1963, and they farmed in rural Zeeland for 26 years. After being diagnosed with Famers Lung Disease in 1988, they decided to sell the farm and move to Bismarck.

Roland worked for Montgomery Wards, helped manage the Bismarck Motor Inn, and was employed with West Central Human Services. He worked at the Heritage Center until his retirement in 2006. Roland worked at his church, Calvary United Methodist Church, as custodian for 10 years, retiring completely in 2011.

Roland had a contagious smile and loved telling stories and jokes with friends and family, and easily made new friends and acquaintances. He could talk to anybody. Strangers were friends he hadn’t met yet. He was very pleased to have a German joke book dedicated to him by Ron Vossler, a freelance writer, about the Germans from Russia. Also, in 1988, he and Lorraine were interviewed by Story Corps regarding their life story of farming and playing baseball.

He especially enjoyed his eight grandchildren and he excelled at playing pool and pinochle. But through it all, Roland depended on his faith in Jesus to get him through the good times and bad.

Roland is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lorraine; son, Steven (Kim) Ketterling, Oakes, daughters, Jodi (Christopher) Brown, Mandan, and Dana (Jason) Petersen, Spokane, Wash.; eight grandchildren, Joe (Jill) Ketterling, and their children, Jackson and Jade, Fargo, Max Ketterling, Hopkins, Minn., Ben (Samantha) Ketterling, Grand Forks, Scott Ketterling, Fargo and Price Ketterling, Fargo, Edel, Delaney and Konrad Petersen, Spokane; his sister, Thelma (Jack) George, Loveland, Colo., and numerous nieces and nephews.

Roland was preceded in death by his parents; his older brother, Raymond (Vivian), Linton; and his younger brother, Clifton Ketterling, Holdrege, Neb.

In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer a donation to the Senior Center of Bismarck or the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

the life of: Roland Ketterling
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