• Name: Betty Jane Nordine (Ketchum)
  • Location of Birth: Estherville, Iowa
  • Date of Birth: September 13, 1924
  • Date of Death: November 5, 2002
  • Parents: Claude Ketchum & Gertrude (Bryan) Ketchum
  • High School and Class: 1942 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: Methodist-Kahler School of Nursing, Rochester, Minnesota
  • Highest Rank:
  • Branch:
  • Other Branch: Cadet Nurse Corps
  • Date Sworn In:
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - November 12, 1943 – “Freshman Hall I, Rochester, Minnesota, November 8, 1943. Editor Horace S. Barnes, Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota. Dear Mr. Barnes: Today I received The Bovey Press and of all the grand feelings to shoot thru a person – that one was the best. It’s also a nice feeling to think “back home” I’m considered in the service. Thanks just a lot. Reading the Press will be my roommate’s and my most profitable pastime. This Cadet Nurse Corps is quite a life saver as far as finances go. We haven’t our uniforms yet, but we have our checks – what else could a fellow ask? It’s funny, but we girls feel the same way toward mail as the boys do. It’s been snowing quite a bit and I think we’ve about six inches to wade through. When one of my patients last night said the lines were down in the northern part of the state, I could just see the pretty pines bending under their burden of snow and all of the kerosene lamps being dug out. Thanks again for the paper. Maybe someday I can be sending my mail “free”. Sincerely, Betty Ketchum.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – December 3, 1943 – “To the Bovey Service Men’s Club: It’s a grand feeling to get the home town newspaper and the feeling that gushed through me when I picked up the Bovey Press today was super grand. Thanks to you and Mr. Barnes, Mavis Clemenson, my roommate, and I are in a happy state of confusion over the news of the home town goings on. A person never gets the breaks until they leave home. I’ve had a grand experience here in Rochester, and I doubt if I’d enjoy getting my training anywhere else. I get a thrill out of something I do every day (every night now). The thrill of satisfaction runs through me every time I hook a new bottle of penicillin on to an intravenous set; a feeling of pity and confidence, when I take patients’ temperatures, who are undergoing malaria treatment for syphilis; or a feeling of cruelty and yet being a “big shot” at every hypo I give – to think I’m doing a big thing for the patients who put so much faith in the Mayo Clinic. Every time I walk by the building, I feel pretty little, yet proud I do a big share for the patients who are being dismissed from it every day. If I’d never left home, I wouldn’t have the fortune of knowing what it is to feel these things. I like my work and there’s very little that could make me quit, although I do miss the nice fresh air of home. Thanks again for the paper – it’s nice to know there’s others besides Mom and Dad who think of you. Sincerely, Betty Ketchum.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – February 18, 1944 – “December 29, 1943. To the Service Club: With a lovely Christmas behind me, leisure time finds me with pen and other writing equipment doing my duty – thanking thoughtful people like you for gifts. The Reader’s Digest came yesterday and I’ve been enjoying it a great deal. Thanks a lot. As I said before, it was a lovely Christmas, but, I missed home. Fortunate me to get to work Christmas; if I hadn’t I might have hitch hiked home. The patients were scarce, so with their sympathy worked up we had a very dull work day. It didn’t seem like Christmas – no snow and nice warm weather. Clemenson and I are devoted defenders of the Mesaba Range and especially the Bovey section – we really spread it on thick when The Press floats in every Monday. Thanks again for the paper and again and again for the Reader’s Digest. Sincerely, Betty Ketchum.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – May 5, 1944 – “April 6, 1944. Rochester, Minn. Dear Friends: If self-shaming would patch the delay in writing, I would do it, but for the time being you’ll just have to back me up in the corner and label me “irresponsible”. I am ashamed of myself for not answering the lovely letter from Mrs. Simon I received some time ago. The only way to redeem myself is to sit right down and thank every one of you for the Easter message you sent. Special thanks to Mrs. Dargan – I enjoyed it much! The days are flying by fast and it won’t be long before I am home again. I’m looking forward to it with great anxiety, altho reliable sources say the town isn’t what it used to be. I am in surgery now and enjoy it quite well. I am fortunate enough to be under a supervisor who works for Dr. Harrington, one of the foremost surgeons of today. I look forward to his days, Wednesday and Saturday, just to see what he does next. Most people don’t realize he’s such a wonderful man, because he’s such an old bear at times. He does everything from pericardictomies (repair of heart muscles) to appendectomies. Gerry Nadeau was in Rochester some time ago and we were fortunate in seeing him. He proved to have something in common to talk about with us, but in that case we were the more common! We’ve been having typical spring weather and it certainly seems good not to have to bundle up when leaving the hall. Makes me more eager to get home and watch the progress of the trailing arbutus. Happy Easter to everyone at home and all my friends with a promise to see you all the last of May. Sincerely, Betty Ketchum. P.S. Have not moved. The Kahler Corp. just re-named the halls.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – July 21, 1944 – “June 29, 1944. Dear Folks: Mr. Wagner’s letter was very much appreciated, only I can’t understand why he hesitated to write it except he was bored with the things he does. To be truthful, I wasn’t bored, at all, even if I was home to see gardens going in, baccalaureate, commencement, and hear Mrs. Schwartz tell about her son’s arrival in India. Really, it was a very nice letter. Minneapolis isn’t at all what I expected it to be. I was actually afraid to come, but now I’m very glad I did. Every once in a while I see someone I know and it sure makes me feel good, even if I am still with Mavis Clemenson. I haven’t let Jerry Nadeau know we’re here yet. When he was in Rochester that one week end, he told us he’d show us Minneapolis. He’s probably too busy anyway. The theatres let us in at servicemen’s prices, when we are in uniform – it’s worth wearing the outfit. They really don’t look bad in a crowd of girls, though. This week I’m on the nursery shift (3-10:30 P.M.) in the nursery, and those little bundles (alias ***) can keep you plenty busy. The paper arrives punctually and is appreciated more than ever. More letters like Mr. Wagner’s would be appreciated. Sincerely, Betty Ketchum.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – September 22, 1944 – “Minneapolis, Minnesota. September 14, 1944. Dear Friends: This is to thank you for the thoughtful birthday card. It’s sure swell how something like this makes you feel good. Makes you feel important and unforgotten. I have now moved to the University for pediatrics and so far I’m not too impressed. I’m on station 43, which has polio cases and they employ the Kinney method of treatment. That is interesting, but we really have to crack our shirt tails to get through with our work. This is the time of year we’re getting more in the contagious stage. It seems the older the victim the worse they are hit. Some of the patients are pretty bad off. One of the patients is a young boy who used to work in Coleraine, so it was just like meeting someone from home. Before I left maternity I saw Carol Carlson and since then I haven’t seen her. I saw Finny Lager last night, but he’s kept pretty busy between studies and Delores. I had a very nice visit with Jean Berg from Marble last night. She lives just down the hall. Here at Powell there are six of us living in a room. We call it the “Dungeon” because it’s below ground level and we have to have lights on all day. It’s very nice. Each one of us has a dresser and there are three desks. In the center, we have a love seat, where the door is, we have straight back chairs. It’s just like “home”. We gripe because we have to walk a block to the lavatory, bif and shower. I suppose the kids are all going back to school. I’d like to be with them. It’s getting a little cooler here, so we stick pretty close to the tunnel and wear a coat when we go out. I did have a very nice birthday and again I want to thank you for the lovely card. As ever, Betty Ketchum.”

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Betty Ketchum attended nurse’s training at Methodist-Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota after her graduation from high school. She married Charles A. Nordine in Rochester in 1948. She worked at Olmsted Community Hospital, then in the blood bank area of Mayo Clinic and later in the anesthesia department until her retirement in the late 1970s. She was a member of Methodist Hospital Auxiliary.

    Betty died in Rochester, Minnesota and is buried in Grandview Memorial Gardens, Rochester, Minnesota. She is survived by three sons, Donald, Chuck and Brian; four grandchildren; a great-grandson; and a brother, James R. Ketchum. Preceding her in death was her husband Charles in 1970.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):