Billy Joe Ketchum

Monday, March 2, 2015
Billy Joe Ketchum

Billy Joe Ketchum, 82, of Norman, Okla., passed away Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, after a five year battle with cancer. He was born Sept. 20, 1932, in Manila, Ark., to Hubert and Ola (Fleeman) Ketchum.

He graduated from Manila High School in 1951, where he played basketball and baseball. He was voted "Best All Around Boy" his senior year. He served in the U.S. Navy from October 1951 to October 1955. He served aboard the USS Ticonderoga No. 14. While stationed in Norman, he met and married Carol Ann Davis on Aug. 12, 1953. Billy owned and operated the Helm Barber Shop in Norman from 1960 until it was torn down in 1971. He went to work for the U.S. Postal service as a clerk in 1971 and retired from there on Jan. 2, 1998.

After retirement, he was busier than ever. He decided he could make some "play" money by mowing yards. He had as many as 25 yards some summers. He loved "tinkerin" in his garage, working on lawn mowers and weed eaters.

His favorite hangout was the Norman Senior Center, where he loved playing dominoes and "tellin' lies" with all his buddies. He loved to watch OU women's softball and basketball with his wife. Bill could fix anything and helped anybody who needed it. He loved his family and spent many summers at the lake.

After his retirement, you would often see him sitting on the benches in Wal-Mart waiting on his wife to shop. They were never far from each other.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hubert and Ola Ketchum; his daughter, Kathy Kerr; his son-in-law, Calvin Gay; and sister-in-law, Lura Ketchem.

He is survived by his wife, Carol of the home; his daughter, Karen Gay of Norman, Okla.; son-in-law, Les Kerr of Carrollton, Texas; grandchildren, Ricky Butler and wife Becky and Christi Butler and fiance Danny Stevens, all of Norman, Okla., Taylor Kerr of Carrollton, Texas, and Brittany Kerr of College Station, Texas; one great-grandson, Caleb Butler; brother, J.R. Ketchum and wife Mary, and sister, Mary Alice Ketchum, all of Arkansas; and many more relatives and friends.

Services were held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at Havenbrook Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Cal Brannon officiating. Interment was in Warren Cemetery in Norman, Okla.

Condolences may be shared at