Dr. William Don Ketner Sr.

February 16, 1934October 7, 2020


Dr. William D. Ketner, Sr. of Burlington formerly of Salisbury, passed away on Wednesday, October 8, 2020 at his home after a brief illness. Born in Salisbury on February 16, 1934, Bill was the son of the late William Augustus Ketner and Ila Mae Pless Ketner. Bill’s best friend and younger brother, Dr. Bruce Ketner of Salisbury preceded him in death. He was raised in Ebenezer Lutheran Church, China Grove.

Bill attended Bostian School and later graduated from Landis High, where he was a stand-out football player. Upon graduation from Wake Forest College, Bill left proudly to serve his country in the United States Army. Following service, Bill received a master’s degree from East Carolina University and an EdD from Duke University. He began his life long career in education as a high school teacher, and then entered civil service with the United States Department of Defense. In 1984, Bill’s accomplishments in the field were recognized, as he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. After several moves with his family, Bill retired in 1996.

Bill lived through the Great Depression, a World War, entered military service during a conflict, earned three advanced degrees while working, was married to the love of his life for 62 years, raised three children and always had a smile on his face. He received his greatest joy from his children and grandchildren. The “castle” was his favorite spot – a vacation cottage on the Chesapeake Bay where he enjoyed many special times with his family as it had become the defacto family headquarters.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Lilly Gray Ketner, a daughter, Allison McHugh (Bruce) two sons, William Don Ketner, Jr. (Claire) and David Charles Ketner (Mary). Bill also leaves behind grandchildren, Katherine Allison (Ian), Will (Sarah), Madeleine, and Julieanna McHugh, Ava, Bess, and Ila Ketner, Chase, Preston and Warren Ketner, along with great-grandchildren, Jackson and Aubrey. He also leaves behind several nieces and nephews and many cousins.

Graveside Service for Bill will be on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 2:00pm at Ebenezer Lutheran Church Cemetery in China Grove officiated by Rev. Dr. Ron Shive and Rev. Dr. Randy Kirby. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that you kindly remember Bill with a memorial in his honor to Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 4914 Old Beatty Ford Road, China Grove, NC 28023. Online condolences may be left for the family at Linn-Honeycutt Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Dr. Ketner.


  • Ebenezer Lutheran Church


  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020


Dr. William Don Ketner Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ed Ernst

October 10, 2020

The prayers of the Ernst family are with you.

Kristen Avant

October 9, 2020

Mr. Ketner had a great laugh and smile. Just a sweet man. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the Ketner’s!! Thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers, David, Mary, Don, Allison, and Mrs. Ketner. ❤️

Sean & Michele Chard

October 9, 2020

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ketner family. Bill achieved very distinguished accomplishments in his life and was blessed with a wonderful family . God rest his soul and may he forever Rest In Peace.

Love, The Chards


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