Lawrence T. Ketchmark, 93, a resident of Brookfield for 70 years who owned hardware stores near Eight Corners and on Ogden Avenue for more than two decades, died May 31, 2022.
Mr. Ketchmark grew up on the North Side of Chicago and graduated from Lane Tech High School in 1947. Two months after graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as ship’s cook until 1950.
He returned home, got married and in 1951 enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving as a medic in Korea during the Korean War until the end of 1952.
“To the day he died, he was extremely proud to have served in the Armed Forces,” said his son, Kit Ketchmark, who is a Brookfield trustee and past village president. Mr. Ketchmark will be inurned at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood with full military honors.
Mr. Ketchmark and his father, who already lived across the street from Ehlert Park, in 1952 purchased the two southernmost lots on the east side of the 4200 block of Oak Avenue and built new two-bedroom homes there.
He and his wife, the late Doris Ketchmark, would raise five children there. Mr. Ketchmark lived at the home until his death, hosting garage sales regularly and playing the accordion outside after dinner on the weekends.
He opened his first hardware store in Montgomery and operated it for 25 years before moving Service Hardware to a storefront at the corner of Monroe and Park avenues at the edge of the Eight Corner business district.
After about 10 years, Mr. Ketchmark moved the hardware store to Ogden Avenue, renaming it Ogden Avenue Hardware, and operating it there in two locations for another 15 years before retiring.
He was an avid flea market negotiator and enjoyed following local politics.
“He was a wheeler-dealer,” Kit Ketchmark said. “It was the social aspect of flea markets. He was a salesman and loved talking to people.”
Mr. Ketchmark was the husband of the late Doris B. Ketchmark (nee Vizek); the father of Robin (Patricia) Ketchmark, Dana (Susan) Ketchmark, Kit (Kathy) Ketchmark and Susan (Steve) Huska and late Timothy (Cindy) Ketchmark; the grandfather of Tony (Melanie) Ketchmark, Spencer Ketchmark, Tiffany Ketchmark, Jason Ketchmark, Jenny (Aaron) Tag, Katie (Anthony) Gaudio, Cameron Ketchmark, Trent Ketchmark, Justin Huska, Jessica (Tony) Broches and Michael Huska; the great grandfather of Evan Tag, Asher Tag, Weston Gaudio, Ryker Gaudio, Loukas Broches, Ella Broches, Aedan Ketchmark, Sabrina Ketchmark, Elliot Ketchmark, Amelia Ketchmark and Emerson Ketchmark; and the brother of George (Shirley) Ketchmark, Justine (the late Edward) Handing, Jim (Annette) Ketchmark and the late Ruth Milner.
Visitation is Friday, June 3 from 3 p.m. to time of service at 8 p.m. at Hitzeman Funeral Home, 9445 31st St., Brookfield.
Interment at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery is private.
Express condolences online at HitzemanFuneral.com. Send sympathy cards to Hitzeman Funeral Home, 9445 31st St., Brookfield, 60513, c/o the Lawrence Ketchmark family.