OBITUARY

Clayton Paul Ketterling

November 6, 1935January 19, 2019

Clayton Paul Ketterling, 83, passed away on January 19, 2019 at his home in Palm Bay, Florida. To honor Clayton's wishes, cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life service will take place on May 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm at Fountainhead Funeral Home in Palm Bay. Clayton will be laid to rest next to his wife, Cynthia and daughter, Pamela.

Clayton was born on November 6, 1935 in Logan County, North Dakota to Edward and Emma Ketterling and spent his childhood there. He excelled in sports and graduated from Napoleon, North Dakota High School in 1953.

Clayton met the love of his life, Cynthia Conrad on a blind date, that didn't go so well, in 1956. Cynthia attended North Dakota State University and Clayton attended Jamestown College in Jamestown, North Dakota, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1957. Their family has enjoyed reading the many, many love letters that Clayton wrote to Cynthia while they were apart. They were married June 14, 1957. Clayton then continued his education at South Dakota State University in Brookings, earning his Master of Science degree in 1958.

Clayton and Cynthia celebrated 56 wonderful years together. Cynthia passed away on June 9, 2014 after suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Clayton was her ultimate caregiver, choosing to care for her at home until her passing. Clayton attended meetings at the Center for Family Caregivers and the Aging Matters group and continued to lead worship and meetings until very recently. He shared with a family member that he had spoken at 32 funerals for members of the Alzheimer's groups.

Their marriage was blessed with three daughters: Paula, Pamela, and Patty and one son, Jon. Clayton had several passions in his life, but none was more important to him than family. He shared his wisdom and guidance with each of his kids.

Clayton's resume was one to be proud of. He started his career in 1957 as the freshman football and wrestling coach at South Dakota State University. At Dickinson State College beginning in 1959, he was Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and also coached football, wrestling, baseball, and track. There he started the wrestling program from scratch and set an NAIA record of 39 consecutive wins from 1960-1962. He continued his career at Waynesburg, Pennsylvania College from 1963-1977 serving as Coach, Athletic Director, and Financial Aid Director. He helped coach the football team to the NAIA Championship in 1966. He became the youngest Athletic Director in the country at the age of 29 in 1965. He was appointed to the US Olympic Wrestling Committee for the 1972-76 Quadrennial and helped coach the team for the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. In 1977, the family moved back to Jamestown, North Dakota where Clayton became V.P. Of Admissions, Alumni, Development and Public Relations at Jamestown College. There he proved his fundraising skills by increasing alumni giving from $70,000 to over $1,000,000 in three years time. In 1983, the family moved to Kansas City, where Clayton was Vice President of Distribution and Purchasing for Dakota Bake-N-Serve, Inc. His final job before retiring was as Senior Vice President of Development at the national headquarters of Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Kansas City. He was responsible for fundraising and training of national staff. He shared a daily devotional with the office staff and affectionately earned the title of “Big Guy.” He retired in 1997, when he and Cynthia moved to Palm Bay, Florida to be closer to two of their daughters and grandchildren. Clayton and Cynthia were members of Calvary Chapel, West Melbourne, Florida.

Clayton was very strong in his faith and will best be remembered for life stories, giving advice, and believing in God with all of your heart. He reminded everyone that “You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.” He also truly enjoyed watching his four children grow to adulthood and loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He and Cynthia were loyal to the Pittsburg Steelers and Pirates and the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. They loved traveling, especially making the trip to the Holy Land and attending numerous Tom Landry and Billy Graham retreats for FCA. And “Coach” also enjoyed playing cards with the guys at Club 52 in Melbourne and watching horse races on TVG and live at Fonner Park in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Clayton is survived by daughters: Paula (Bill) Naber and Patty Malinich of Palm Bay and his son, Jon (Corinne) of Grand Island, Nebraska. He and Cynthia were blessed with five grandchildren: Tara (Giovanni) Colon and Marcus Cerepani of Orlando, Emma Cundiff of Palm Bay, Clayton (Samantha) Malinich of Staten Island, NY, Christopher Sattes (Melanie) of Virginia, and Gerit Naber of Canada. Five great grandchildren include: Eian Colon and Lillian, Sophia, Cecelia and Finnley Sattes. He is also survived by brother, James (Marlene) of Mesa, Arizona and Cynthia's brother, Lyle (Connie) Conrad of Atlanta, Georgia. Many close nieces and nephews complete the family.

Family members preceding Clayton in death are his wife of 56 years, Cynthia; his daughter and son-in-law, Pamela and Ron Cundiff; his sister, Delores Hanson; his brother, Floyd Ketterling; Cynthia's sister and husband, Nancy and Don Jeter; and grandson, Tommy Naber. Fountainhead Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Palm Bay, Florida is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/palm-bay-fl.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 8701 Leeds Road, Kansas City, MO 64129 or the Alzheimer's Association (8180 Greensboro Drive Suite 400, McLean, VA 22102.

Clayton, GLYASDW! (God loves You and so do We!)

  • FAMILY

  • Edward & Emma Ketterling, Parents
  • Cynthia Ketterling, Beloved Wife of 56 Wonderful Years
  • Pamela (Ron) Cundiff, Daughter
  • Paula (Bill) Naber, Daughter
  • Patty Malinich, Daughter
  • Jon (Corinne) Ketterling, Son
  • Delores Hanson, Sister
  • Floyd Ketterling, Brother
  • Nancy & Don Jeter, Cynthia's Sister & Her Husband
  • Tommy Naber, Grandson
  • Tara (Giovanni) Colon, Grandchild
  • Marcus Cerepani, Grandchild
  • Emma Cundiff, Grandchild
  • Clayton (Samantha) Malinich, Grandchild
  • Christopher (Melanie) Sattes, Grandchild
  • Gerit Naber, Grandchild
  • Eian Colon, Lillian, Sophia, Cecelia $ Finnley Sattes, 5 Great Grandchildren
  • James (Marlene) Ketterling, Brother
  • Lyle (Connie) Conrad, Cynthia's Brother
  • Many Nieces & Nephews, Unspecified

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
REMEMBERING

Clayton Paul Ketterling

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Kelly Wallington

February 13, 2019

In 2015 while driving home from work I was rear ended while exiting the highway. The gentleman that hit me was so apologetic and concerned. As we were waiting for the police to finish my husband showed up to the scene and immediately started to talk sports with the gentleman that hit me. I remember thinking to myself that I feel like we’ve known this man for years and we literally just met him 30 minutes prior. Fast forward 2 months. While I was out to dinner with my mom and her coworkers the topic of my accident came up. I remember Paula one of the coworkers looking so stunned and replying “that was my dad Clayton that hit you!”. From there we went on to chat and I shared how much my husband really enjoyed talking sports with him. Paula said her dad talked about this nice nurse and her husband after the accident but she never put two and two together until that day. Paula gave us Clayton’s phone number and said how much he would enjoy continuing their sports talk. We ended up inviting him to our sons varsity football game. I honestly did not expect him to show up, but not only did he show up early he stood up at the fence by the field the entire 2.5 hours with my husband commenting about each play of the game. I remember asking him if he wanted to sit down in the bleachers and he very kindly told me no each time as he didn’t want to miss a play :). In between plays he took his wallet out and would share photos of his family members. He was so proud of all of his grandkids and loved his wife dearly. I will never forget my mom telling me after this game how much Paula said her dad enjoyed every minute of this. I never thought that I would be thankful for getting in a car accident but in this case it was a blessing as I was introduced to such a wonderful man. Paula and family I pray for peace and comfort during this most difficult time. Your father was an amazing man and will be dearly missed.

Dottie Brown

January 30, 2019

Clay was a special friend to me and lots of people at Ageing Matters support group. He called me to check on my husband who has Alzheimer’s and would always give me help in understanding what he went through with his wife. I sure will miss those phone calls from Clay. Rest In Peace my friend. Dottie Brown

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

8th Grade 1948

FROM THE FAMILY

April 1, 1946
5th Grade
Napoleon, North Dakota

FROM THE FAMILY

Confirmation Picture
1948

FROM THE FAMILY

High School Graduation 1953

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

In the backyard of Emma & Ed's.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

8th Grade 1948

FROM THE FAMILY

April 1, 1946
5th Grade
Napoleon, North Dakota

FROM THE FAMILY

Confirmation Picture
1948

FROM THE FAMILY

High School Graduation 1953

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

In the backyard of Emma & Ed's.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

The Ketterling Family
1964