Vail Daily obituary: Doug Ketchum, 1953-2013

Doug Ketchum, beloved husband, partner, best friend, playmate of his adoring wife, Kristi Ketchum, was lost much too soon in a surfing accident near Salina Cruz, Mexico on Wednesday.

He was born April 20, 1953, in Welch, W. Va. He is survived by his wife; his mother, Peggy; and brothers Zane and Bob, of Melbourne, Fla. He was preceded in death by his father, George Ketchum. In Melbourne, Fla., he attended Eau Gallie High and Brevard Community College. Having grown up at the Space Coast, his early professional life was as a mechanical draftsman for NASA’s Skylab, Space Shuttle and Apollo/Soyez projects for Pan American and Planning Research Corp. After a trip out West, he caught the skiing bug and moved to the Louisville area working in the computer tech industry for Storage Tech and Amcodyne. When a friend and mentor suggested that his people skills would translate well to sales, Doug began his career in real estate and relocated to the Vail Valley, where he eventually found his work home with Prudential Colorado Properties.

During his career, he served as vice president for the Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR), president of the Vail Board of Realtors and Multiple List Service (MLS) committee chairman for CAR. He was also honored with being selected as Realtor of the Year for the Vail Board of Realtors. After relocating to Salida five years ago, he was serving as the president of the Chaffee County Board of Realtors while maintaining his affiliation with Prudential in Vail. In addition to his love of surfing, he was an avid skier, snowboarder, mountain and road bicyclist.

He loved people, loved life and adventure and was the kindest soul, and will be missed by so many. He was the most incredible husband a woman could ask for.

In Vail on Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Donovan Park Pavilion, a celebration of Doug’s life will be held. In Salida on June 11 at 5 p.m. at the park in Trailside Circle, a barbecue and gathering will be held to celebrate Doug’s life. Further details on both events can be seen at In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Surfrider Foundation (

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