Helen Ketterer’s Other Side

High School wrestling matchI’m still trying to organize the stacks of negatives. For the most part, I’m setting all the sports pictures aside for now because there are so many of them. The next task will be to try to figure out which ones are from Central High School games and which aren’t. There should be some kind of law passed that uniforms have to have school names or emblems on them.

Who IS this woman?

Helen Ketterer watching wrestlingI was just about to pitch this roll of wrestling pictures onto the ‘Later’ stack, when my eye was drawn to a fan in the bleachers in this sleeve marked January25, 1967.

Could that really be Helen Ketterer, who worked in the principal’s office?

I don’t think I ever saw Miss Ketterer smile or change expression in the office. She was always to-the-point and strictly business.

Of course, if you had to deal with as many high school students as she did, you’d probably be a little jaded, too.

It just goes to show that sometimes you don’t know folks as well as you thought you did. For example, I never knew Wife Lila was a bloodthirsty, raving maniac until I took her to her first live hockey match at Ohio University. I suddenly looked at her in a whole new light.

Helen Ketterer died in 1979

I did a search of The Southeast Missourian’s database, but it only goes back to 2002. Nothing relevant popped up. I sent a message to Missourian librarian Sharon Sanders asking if she had any info. She didn’t find anything going forward from 1991, but did see that Helen Ketterer was listed in the Social Security Death Index as having died in 1979.

This morning, Sharon sent me a copy of the March 25, 1979 obit:

Helen Ketterer at her deskMiss Helen Ketterer, 812 N. Missouri, died Thursday at her home. She was 68 years old.

Miss Ketterer was born on June 13, 1910, in Cape Girardeau and was a life-long resident. She was preceeded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Ketterer.

She graduated from Central High School and was employed for approximately 40 years as a secretary at Cape Central High School, retiring about five years ago.

Miss Ketterer was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish and was an active member of both the St. Francis Medical Center Auxiliary and the Southeast Missouri Hospital Auxiliary.

Graveside services will be conducted at 10 Monday morning with the Rev. Bernard P. Degan officiating. Walther Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  There will be no visitation.

A gallery from the wrestling match

Here’s a collection of photos from the match. As always, click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the picture to step through them.

Let me know if you recognize the wrestlers, and I’ll post an update.

13 Replies to “Helen Ketterer’s Other Side”

  1. We loved these pictures of Miss Ketterer. Who went to Central and DIDN’T have to interact with her at some point? She was working at Central when my mother was a student there. Mother was born in 1914 and said Miss Ketterer was very young when she went to work there, obviously.

  2. Margi,

    Thanks for the tip. I pulled out my Dad’s 1931 Girardot and found that there were five name I recognized as still being on staff when I attended Central High School in the Class of 65.

    You’ll have to wait until Tuesday to find out who they are.

  3. Wow! great shots, as usual, I am now seeing people in a new light, I always thougth Ms Ketterer was cool, but never saw her like this. I guess it shows we all have human side to us. Thanks for doign this.
    I looks like these guys are from Sikeston the big “S” but hard to tell. I was a jock but did not wrestle…But the person with blond hair does look like Bob Bishop. Nice spotting for Tim Pensel.
    Nice work.

  4. I left central in 1959 went there 4 years, i sew miss ketter for the first time in 1955 and you are rite, she never changed her face,i though she was the meanest woman on earth, I wrestled there in 1958 and 59 before they had pictures, thanks for the memories..

  5. I am doing some research on Alma Schrader. She is buried in a family plot in Cape’s Fairmount Cemetery. In her family plot are the graves of Helen Ketterer and her parents. I am wanting to learn how they are related. Helen’s obituary, as shown above, does not mention her family members. I do not have a copy of Alma Schrader’s obituary. I have searched the Missourian and genealogy sites, but cannot locate her obit. Does anyone here happen to know how Helen Ketterer was related to Alma Schrader? I have family members, by marriage, who are descendants of Alma Schrader. We all are searching for her obituary. We know many details of her life, but we do not know her connection to the Ketterer family.

    1. Alma Schrader’s obituary appears on page 1 of the January 16, 1959 Southeast Missourian; the headline is just above the fold, on the left side. And although it does not seem to answer your question re any Helen Ketterer connection, it is a very good obit and photo. You can see it here:

      Point your mouse at the headline, it becomes shaded in blue. Click on that to obtain a larger, more readable image.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Thank you so much, but late last night a family member located the newspaper obituary clipping from a file of saved documents. She also located birth certificate, baptismal record and numerous other special items. My brother married a niece of Alma Schrader. They have 5 grown children and numerous grandchildren. Sadly my brother and his wife are now deceased. Their children have become quite involved with digging through and locating historical information. They have uncovered fascinating information about Alma’s grandfather who served in the Civil War. The mystery remains as to how Helen Ketterer’s family is connected to the Schrader family. They all are in a family plot at Fairmount Cemetery. I truly appreciate the link to Alma’s obituary! Thank you!
        Easter Blessings………

      2. I attended Alma Schrader in the late 60s/early 70s, but knew nothing about her until reading that obit. Thank you for sharing the link.

        On a side note, that’s quite an interesting front page for a random Friday night paper from 61 years ago. There’s Castro front and center, a Polish priest was arrested (who would be found guilty in a show trial and die in a gulag), and some judge from Alabama named George Wallace was stirring up trouble.

        1. That’s what happens when you start looking up things in old newspapers. I find what I was looking for (if I’m lucky), then get sucked down rabbit holes of history that distract me for hours.

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