June 8, 1923 – December 30, 2018
Keith Ketchen died peacefully at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in his 96th year. He is survived by Doreen (nee Fletcher), his wife of nearly 70 years, and three children: Richard (Janet), Susan Ketchen (Michael Entwisle) and Nancy Ketchen (Dick Simpson). Also surviving are granddaughter Kristina (Donovan) Stauffer, grandsons Stuart (Jess) Simpson and Neil Simpson (Kym Sywak), great-grandsons Jared and Carter, and step-great-grandson Landen. Keith was predeceased in 2007 by his brother Peter in West Vancouver and in 2010 by his sister Sheila Lade in Kelowna.
Keith was born in Fort William (Thunder Bay), Ontario and attended school in Regina and in Vancouver. While attending high school in Vancouver, Keith developed an interest in track and field. He excelled in sprint events and set provincial records in the long jump. Keith graduated from UBC where he did post-graduate studies for his master’s degree. Further studies took him to the University of Toronto for his PhD in 1953.
He moved from Vancouver to Nanaimo in 1947, spending almost 38 years of his career as a fisheries scientist at the Pacific Biological Station. He was active in international fisheries, serving nearly 20 years as scientific adviser to the Canadian members of the International Pacific Halibut Commission and more than a decade with the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission. He also served as chairman of a United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization committee. Towards the end of his career he was active in preparations for the Law of the Sea Convention.
Keith served on the District 68 School Board for a period in the 1950s and was a longstanding member of the Nanaimo Golf Club, being noted for his frequent par-free rounds. He was an avid gardener and student of bonsai during his retirement.
The family is grateful for the compassionate support provided to Keith by caregivers at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, especially by Dr. Rena Romain.
No service by request. Donations in memory of Keith may be made to the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation.