John Jason 'Jake' Ketscher


Posted: Friday, April 30, 2004

John Jason 'Jake' Ketscher died Friday, April 9, 2004. He was 31.

Mr. Ketscher was born March 28, 1973, in Fairbanks, to David and Tamara Ketscher. The next day, he was on a bush plane to Bettles, where his parents established Sourdough Outfitters and Bettles Trading Post. He shot his first moose at age 9 and mushed a dog team from Anaktuvuk Pass to the Gates of the Arctic at 12. He guided trips in the Brooks Range, achieved Eagle Scout ranking and received his pilot's license at 17.

"Jake's parents raised him in the Lord, and he was baptized in the icy Koyukuk River at 12. He read through the Bible almost every year, in addition to classical theology and church history," according to his family.

He attended Bettles Field School for five years, was home schooled for three years and attended high school in California. He graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a major in political science and was recognized as the Outstanding Political Science Student. He received his law degree from the University of Wyoming.

Hired by the State Public Defenders Office, he moved to Kodiak. He married Christy Van Doren on Aug. 5, 2001. On Sept. 20, 2002, their son Paul Arktos Ketscher was born.

"The family did not have a television, instead holding family devotions, reading books and taking 'Creation Appreciation' walks," said his family.

In Kodiak, Mr. Ketscher was active at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, the Lions Club, the City Planning and Zoning Commission and the Public Safety Board. He served as a member-at-large of the UAF Alumni Association.

The Ketscher family moved to Kenai in December 2003, when Jake accepted the position of assistant district attorney.

Mr. Ketscher is survived by wife, Christy; son, Paul Arktos Ketscher; parents, David and Tamara Ketscher of Reedley, Calif.; grandparents, Leon and Peggy Gearhart of Fresno, Calif.; father- and mother-in-law, Philip and Connie Van Doren of North Bend, Ore.; and a host of other family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.

Donations may be made to the Jake Ketscher Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank.

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