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Martha Kettler

Martha Kettler
Martha Kettler

Eminent Homemaker

County: Marshall

Mrs. Martha Kettler, Eden, South Dakota, a woman whose accomplishments are reflected in the achievements of those she has inspired, was honored in 1978 as Eminent Homemaker by the Board of Regents and South Dakota State University.

The honored homemaker has been an active member of the Sacred Heart Parish and the Altar Society for over 35 years. She has served as general and group officers.

Before her marriage to Roman Kettler in 1939, Martha Koppy taught school and is remembered for taking her students on hikes to examine trees, plants, insects and topography—long before such outings were common.

After her children were in school, she went back to school herself to become recertified to teach. She taught in Greenville and Eden in the 1960s when she offered an extracurricular course in basic German to her fifth and sixth graders.

Mrs. Kettler helped promote a group of ladies in the 1950s called the Help-U Club, which met to share chores from polishing silverware to licking green stamps to tying quilts to planning weddings.

She belonged to the Day County Nutley Neighbors Extension Club for several years until it was disbanded and was a member of the Marshall County Hectic Homemakers Overextended Club that was organized in 1974.

Mrs. Kettler helped her husband during their farming years and took over even more of the farm work when he lost his arm in a baling accident 20 years before they left the farm.

Mr. and Mrs. Kettler were instrumental in recruiting a non-farm industry, Dakotah Handcrafts, to Eden. Their perseverance helped make the business successful. Her dedication to the project is evidenced by her willingness to give her home, rent-free, for two years as a working area.

The Kettlers organized and were leaders of the Marshall County 4-H Club while their children were growing up.

The couple’s seven children are Sister Mary Therese Kettler, Albany, Minnesota, religious education teacher; Mrs. Ramona Marshall, Riverton, Wyoming, homemaker and teacher; Mrs. Barbara Evans, San Jose, California, secretary at Stanford University; Mrs. Carolyn Juvland, Burnsville, Minnesota, homemaker and secretary; Mrs. Donna Guice, Milpitas, California, accounts payable supervisor; Mrs. Rita Holland, Minneapolis, Minnesota, accounts receivable secretary; and John Kettler, San Jose, California, machinist tool and die casting.