George E. Kettling, 83

George E. Kettling, 83, of Cedarburg, one of the gentlest souls one could ever know, sailed to his heavenly harbor on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, from the Aurora VNA Zilber Family Hospice in Wauwatosa, surrounded by family and friends.

George was born in March of 1930 in Elizabeth, N.J., as the only child of George H. and Christine Viol Kettling. A lover of learning, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1953 from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, his Master of Science in chemistry in 1956 from the University of Cincinnati, and continued work for several years toward a doctorate in chemical engineering. An accomplished chemist, with a patent to his name, George worked for Monsanto Research Corp. of Miamisburg, Ohio, General Electric Medical Systems of Wauwatosa and in his later years, taught chemistry and physics at Schlarman High School in Danville, Ill.

George married the love of his life, Virginia “Ginne” Reuthe on June 16, 1962, in Cincinnati. Over more than a half-century together, they created a close-knit family of four children, and an extended family of many dear friends.

George will be remembered as a kind man of quiet intelligence, as well as many talents. He was a bit of a Renaissance man, from his love of science, philosophy, history and technology to his appreciation for nature, music and all that is of the sea. He was an avid perennial gardener, wine maker and writer. His creativity extended into calligraphy, photography and even into gift-wrapping.

George's devotion to his beloved wife, Ginne, was something we can all only hope to have. His displays of tender words and loving poems were a constant in their marriage. His softness and patience shone brightly in his parenting, and in his love for living things. From teenagers, to spiders, to rose bushes, all were treated with care he so tenderly offered. To George, thunderstorms and rainbows were all conversations with God and cats were not only necessary companions, but also sacred creatures. George’s favorite place to be was by the water. Whether on a boat or on the shore, he found his peace there. Christ’s lighthouse has finally led him to his eternal peace.

George was preceded in death by his parents; and is survived by Ginne, his wife of 51 years; and their four loving children, Elys (Mike) Law of Wooster, Ohio, Kandys (Roger) Lindgren of Kewaskum, Gynne (Tim) Benson of Glendale, and Geoffry Kettling of Reno, Nev. He is further survived by six wonderful grandchildren, Tina Tomasini, Nolan and Lucas Benson, Chase and Lily Lindgren, and Grace Kettling; as well as one great-granddaughter, Zaida Tomasini.

A celebration of life service will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10, at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 420 Whitefish Road, Port Washington, with Pastor Jonathan Breimeier presiding. The family will receive visitors at the church one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Christ the King Lutheran Church, the Alzheimer’s Association, or your local Humane Society.

Eernisse Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be left at

The family appreciates the loving care to George at Lasata Crossings and Zilber Hospice and the help of Home Instead.