ForeverMissed
Jason passed away on March 20, 2021. He is survived by his two daughters, Julia and Abby; father, Tom Ketner; wife, Ginger Ketner; Stepchildren Christian and Savannah; brother Tom Ketner (Melanie); sister, Betsy Johnson (Greg); and nephew and nieces, Jordan, Lexi and Jadyn.  Jason was a 1990 graduate of Valley High School in Iowa, where he was known for being an incredible swimmer (top 10 best in the state at the time!)

After high school, Jason enlisted in the US Coast Guard, and was stationed on Long Island, New York.  It was there that he met his first wife, Jenny.  Jason was very proud of the time he spent serving his country.  He was honorably discharged in 1995, with a medical retirement for a shoulder injury.

Following the USCG, he completed his Associates Degree at the University of New Hampshire, worked for a time in San Diego, and then completed his Bachelors at Stony Brook University. 

After leaving New York, Jason spent time living in Texas, New Hampshire, Arizona, and finally Tennessee.  He married Ginger in 2017 while living in Arizona.  He moved to Tennessee in 2019 and bought his dream home.  He spent the last few years perfecting his home and yard.

Friends will surely remember him as the life of the party, with a love of music and karaoke.  Can anyone hear the Beatles or Elton John without thinking of him?  And anyone with kids might know him as "Jungle Gym Jason." I hope that you will share your pictures, stories and memories of Jason, for those he leaves behind.

A celebration of Jason's life will take place later this year.  Details to follow.  In lieu of flowers, anyone who wishes to honor Jason is invited to make a contribution to his children's college fund via UGift529.com Use the following codes: Julia - 66Z-B1P Abby 95Q-T3M


Posted by Stephanie Russell on April 6, 2021
Jason and Jenny were quick to become our close friends living in San Diego. Jenny and I were enrolled in our doctoral program and Jason and Dan were one of a few spouses of students in our program. Jason always was so kind, FUNNY, and engaging. His laugh was contagious and it was heard often. Jason and Jenny often threw parties and Jason’s laugh would fill the room!

When we left San Diego, I found it so cool that their two children—Julia and Abby are the exact same ages as our two girls! I got the chance to meet your girls in 2018. What incredible and beautiful girls you have, Jason. May you Rest In Peace, Jason.
Posted by Laura Impomeni on April 4, 2021
Jason. I vividly remember the day my best friend Jenny introduced me to her new boyfriend. He was magnetic, handsome, and hands-down the funniest guy in the room at all times. Most of my early memories of him involve laughing. He was great fun to laugh with and I felt like I could say anything to him-no matter how crazy, insane, or inappropriate, and we would all get hysterical. He was the life of every party when I knew him back then and a damn fun guy to hang around with. 

It’s probably been more than a decade since I’ve seen him and many things have changed, but I really do wish him peace, love, and eternal laughter. Mostly, I just wish him peace.
Posted by Caitlen Sheeran on April 3, 2021
I will always remember the night we all met. So many beautiful memories were made that summer, and for so many summers after that. Countless nights at the beach, in town, doing nothing but feeling like it was everything. We all grew up together...dated, had our hearts broken, graduated college, got married, got divorced, had kids....we shared a lot. It’s hard to imagine a world without you in it somewhere. I will always see you in those amazing girls you helped create. I hope you’ve found peace, Jason. Rest easy, old friend.
Posted by Cynthia Wright on March 30, 2021
Jason, I met you many years ago when Jen and I had all the time in the world to hang out. I remember your contagious smile and soft demeanor. Your enthusiasm for life, nature and people was inspirational. Your sense of humor was priceless and your wit spot on. You made this world a better place because you were in it. You will truly be missed.
Posted by April Moss on March 29, 2021
Some of my favorite memories of Jason involve him being “Uncle Jason” to my two boys. On a family trip to Washington DC when T.J. was 4, I remember Jason teaching him how to do cartwheels on the mall. I pretty sure T.J. spent most of that trip on Jason’s shoulders! On our first trip to Mendum’s I remember Uncle Jason teaching Zack, a toddler at the time, how to throw rocks in the water and Zack saying “more” over and over and clapping every time a rock hit the water. I think Jason threw a hundred rocks that day.

Whenever we would come to visit, Uncle Jason would always greet the boys with a “What’s up Buddy” and a really big hug. I can still hear him saying it.

Rest easy Jason.
Posted by yvonne watterson on March 29, 2021
thank you for making those the increcible people that i love so dearly and for showing me how wrong i have been to my loved ones in my past. Im glad you are no longer suffering 
Posted by Stacey Zabel-Hudson on March 29, 2021
Sweet Jason.... I've known you for over 40 years. You were always such a sweet, loving soul. (You're the first boy I ever got caught kissing....by your mom!!) You had the most beautiful eyes, an amazing smile and such a wonderful laugh. I'm so heart-broken that you are gone. Even though we hadn't seen each other in quite some time, about 10 years ago, you came for a visit!! That was such an amazing reunion!! It felt like no time had passed at all!! I took you to my parents house, and the Carney's were there (growing up, my folks, your folks, Carney's, Burkes, and the Beckenbaugh's got together almost every Friday night!!) and everyone was so excited to see you!! I remember my husband and I going to dinner with you and you just kept laughing and smiling and saying "I can't believe I'm at dinner with Stacey Zabel!" That same trip, we brought my kids to your hotel to go swimming and you kept throwing them and playing with them in the pool and they just loved it!! You were the coolest guy, in their eyes!! (You also stopped at my house and proceeded to stand on the railing of my upper deck, trying to stop the tree limbs from constantly rubbing against our roof...I was petrified that you were gonna fall!! You just smiled and laughed!!) I pray that God wraps His arms around your family and gives them comfort during this difficult time. I am so very heart-broken for all of them. You were definitely one of a kind, and even though you aren't with us physically, you will forever be in our hearts. Love, Stacey
Posted by Suzanne Hehn on March 29, 2021
Oh Jason....this is just so very sad. There are a couple of tributes that I'd like to share.
First, what a tremendous friend you were to George. When his body was really failing him, you would get him out of that wheel chair and make him walk. You would put weights in his hands and make him do exercises. You would take him places. When my mom was just so tired of the daily routine, you would show up with that smiling face and just light up the room. You were a bright light in a dismal situation. I will never ever forget that, and just how good you were to my parents. <3
The other memory that I want to share is a touchy one, because it could land us all in hot water.....but....here goes.
In the worst of times, our family was known to go on certain "runs"....there may have been a golf course involved... it was our way of relieving stress, I guess, but as I said earlier to Jenny, they were "some of the best of times, in the worst of times". In this one particular "run", it was pitch black.....you were behind myself, David and Lauren. I heard you yell "KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR"!!! With that, you came FLYING by us as fast as your legs could go....and totally WIPED out right in front of us.....I think you were even hurt to some extent, but we all just lost it, at your expense, and of course, it became, and will always be a favorite saying and memory. I feel that someday, I may have to indoctrinate your daughters to one of these "runs", in your honor.
Rest in Peace Jason. We will remember the good times. <3
Posted by Kristina Noelle on March 29, 2021
Jason was always funny, sweet and an excellent listener. He adapted to life wherever he was and could be seen driving around WHB in his car with his “ILVMYDR” license plates! He was handsome and smart and seemed always ready for life’s next adventure. He accepted new friends and treated them like part of the family. His baby girls filled his heart with joy and life seemed so joyous for him with his new family. I pray that his girls are able to latch on to the warm and positive parts of his soul that truly made him shine. Ultimately, he desperately wanted to love and to be loved. Wishing for much peace for his entire family on the long road to healing.
Posted by James Nanney on March 29, 2021
Jason was a fine man who I respected and admired a great deal. I was looking very forward to working with him in the future. I know he loved his family very much, and his girls in particular, and they have been in my thoughts every day since hearing of this tragic news. May God bless the Ketner family.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Stephanie Russell on April 6, 2021
Jason and Jenny were quick to become our close friends living in San Diego. Jenny and I were enrolled in our doctoral program and Jason and Dan were one of a few spouses of students in our program. Jason always was so kind, FUNNY, and engaging. His laugh was contagious and it was heard often. Jason and Jenny often threw parties and Jason’s laugh would fill the room!

When we left San Diego, I found it so cool that their two children—Julia and Abby are the exact same ages as our two girls! I got the chance to meet your girls in 2018. What incredible and beautiful girls you have, Jason. May you Rest In Peace, Jason.
Posted by Laura Impomeni on April 4, 2021
Jason. I vividly remember the day my best friend Jenny introduced me to her new boyfriend. He was magnetic, handsome, and hands-down the funniest guy in the room at all times. Most of my early memories of him involve laughing. He was great fun to laugh with and I felt like I could say anything to him-no matter how crazy, insane, or inappropriate, and we would all get hysterical. He was the life of every party when I knew him back then and a damn fun guy to hang around with. 

It’s probably been more than a decade since I’ve seen him and many things have changed, but I really do wish him peace, love, and eternal laughter. Mostly, I just wish him peace.
Posted by Caitlen Sheeran on April 3, 2021
I will always remember the night we all met. So many beautiful memories were made that summer, and for so many summers after that. Countless nights at the beach, in town, doing nothing but feeling like it was everything. We all grew up together...dated, had our hearts broken, graduated college, got married, got divorced, had kids....we shared a lot. It’s hard to imagine a world without you in it somewhere. I will always see you in those amazing girls you helped create. I hope you’ve found peace, Jason. Rest easy, old friend.
Recent stories

Jason- The swimmer

Shared by Jenn Bourret on March 30, 2021
Jason’s competitive swimming success was truly remarkable because he didn’t start swimming until he was a teenager while most of his teammates joined the sport before the age of 10. He told me he beat his brother in a race in a hotel pool- the only time he beat Tom at anything! Tom told him to go out for the swim team, so he did. Jason said Coach Hugo tried to get him to quit and even suggested he become a diver. I’m sure this was just coach’s way of motivating him to work harder. Here’s a picture of Jason swimming the 200 Individual Medley for West Des Moines Valley at the Iowa high school state championship his senior year. He is at the bottom of the picture. (picture courtesy of my brother Bill, who is two lanes from Jason) Jason went on to swim at the University of Northern Iowa.   

Karaoke- 2015

Shared by Jenn Bourret on March 30, 2021
In 2015, I went to New Hampshire to help Jason pack for a move. We went out to dinner and had some fun singing karaoke. We sang Friends in Low Places together and he sang solo on Born to be Wild. (see video section)

Jason oh Jason

Shared by Karen Schwendler on March 29, 2021
I met Jason when he was a student at UNH. His girlfriend (at the time) Jenny also attended UNH and worked at a restaurant with me. We became fast friends and I spent a lot of time with them. I was at their wedding and visited them in San Diego and Long Island. They visited me in NH. I loved getting to know their two girls, and stayed in touch with Jenny after they split up. I lost touch with Jason, but remember him as a passionate, intelligent, and funny guy. I hope he is at peace now. <3