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Metal Construction Hall of Famer Bob Ketenbrink passes away

Posted 08/25/2014

Robert Louis "Bob" Ketenbrink, 77, of Decatur, Ill., passed away on Thursday, August 21, 2014 in his home with his wife by his side. 

Bob was born in Switzerland County, Ind., on October 20, 1936 the son of Louis Benjamin and Anna Elizabeth (Manford) Ketenbrink. He began his career in his first summer after graduating from Pontiac Township High School in 1954. He was raised on a farm in the Pontiac, IL, area and landed a job helping to erect grain storage buildings at local grain elevators. That work led to a full-time job with a metal building erector in Decatur, erecting buildings all over the country, beginning in 1957. 

In 1972, Bob had tired of the cross country travel so he started Spacemark and through that company became much more involved with the Metal Building Dealers Association (MBDA), and helped found the Independent Erector Division (IED), which became the System Builders Association (SBA) and eventually morphed in to the Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association (MBCEA). He was a past president of the IED and SBA. He was also involved with Associated Builders and Contractors nationally and as a member of many chapters, including as a founding member and past president of the local chapter. Bob was also a board member at different times of all of these organizations, and of the Metal Building Institute (MBI). 

Bob was the first inductee into the Metal Construction Hall of Fame. Bob's legacy is in training other metal building erectors. As a result, the MBCEA renamed its prestigious "Oil Can" award the "Bob and Bev Ketenbrink" award for a lifetime of service and influence on the metal construction industry. 

Bob was a veteran of the Illinois Army National Guard, a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Aurora, Ind., a member of the leadership council of NFIB, a member of the Decatur Chamber of Commerce and the State Chamber of Commerce. He married Beverly A. Stith on September 20, 1959 in Pontiac, Ill. 

Surviving is his wife, Beverly of Decatur; sisters: Mary Ella (Floyd) Farrell of Auruoa, IN, and Irma Jean (Bill) Kinnet of Dillsboro, IN; step-sister Ima Jean (Dewey) Winstead of Columbus, IN; step-brothers: Dwight Snow and Bill Snow; five nieces, twelve nephews, fourteen grand nieces, eighteen grand nephews, many other relatives, friends, and very faithful dog Sandy. 

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Raymond and Donald, step-sister Dorothy Burger, step-brother John Snow, one nephew, one niece, and one step niece. 

Visitation will be held Sunday, August 24, 2014 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Moran & Goebel Funeral Home. Services to celebration his life will be Monday, August 25, 2014 at 2 p.m. in the funeral home. A second visitation will be held at the First Baptist Church, 515 N. Ladd St., Pontiac, IL, 61764 on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until the service time at 11 am. Burial will take place in Memorial Park Cemetery, Pontiac. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Homeward Bound Pet Shelter, 1720 E. Huston Dr., Decatur, IL 62526 or Metal Building Institute, P.O. Box 4308, Bethlehem, PA 18018.

The Ketenbrink family is being served by the Moran & Goebel Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2801 N. Monroe St., Decatur, IL 62526. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.moranandgoebel.com.

Please follow the following link to the website for online condolences and to send flowers and cards.  http://www.moranandgoebel.com/obituaries/Robert-Ketenbrink/#!/Obituary

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