Gretta H. Kettelkamp

gretta kettelkamp

April 26, 1930 ~ February 28, 2024

Born in: Rochester, New York
Resided in: Pueblo, Colorado

Gretta H. Kettelkamp passed away February 28, 2024, in her home in Pueblo, just weeks shy of her 94th birthday. Gretta was surrounded by her three sons, Todd, Brad and Dirk and their wives when she passed peacefully. Memorial services are planned for April 12th, at 10 a.m. at The First Presbyterian Church, 220 W. 10th St., Pueblo, with Pastor Ben Keller presiding. A reception will immediately follow at the Pueblo Country Club for food, drinks and fellowship.

Gretta was born in Rochester, New York on April 26, 1930, the only daughter of Clayton and Elva Holder. The Holders raised Gretta and her older brother Benjamin in Dearborn, Michigan. At age 17, Gretta announced to her parents she intended to travel to the University of Colorado in Boulder and enroll in the school of Arts. Gretta was accepted as a freshman 1947-48 and was rushed into the Delta Gamma Sorority where she met her husband to be, Wesley Kettelkamp, who was then employed as a Hasher in the sorority. They later married December 13, 1952, and raised their family of boys in Pueblo. Wes passed on December 13, 2021, with Gretta at his side in their home in Pueblo. The loss of Wes had a profound and lasting effect on Gretta, as she loved him so dearly.

With her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from CU Boulder, Gretta devoted much of her time and passion for the arts to many Pueblo projects and institutions. She and others started Pueblo’s Own Your Own Art Show and The Town and Country Mosaic, the monthly publication for the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center. She was instrumental in growing a small project of selling handcrafted gifts into the profitable business at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center’s Three Peak’s Gift Shop. In 1977, Gretta helped form the Children’s Committee for the purpose of investigating the possibilities of expanding the potential for creative art experiences for Pueblo’s children. Her work on this committee spawned an idea that ultimately led to the creation of the Pueblo Art Works Children’s Museum. She envisioned a museum for Pueblo’s children with interactive exhibits that ignited their imaginations and spurred their creativity in the arts, history and science. After six long years, her idea finally became a reality with Pueblo Art Works Children’s Museum at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, now known as The Buell Children’s Museum.

Other accomplishments that benefited our community were her tenure on the board of directors for the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center; her long-term membership of the Junior League of Pueblo and the Wednesday Morning Club; her tenure on the board of directors for McClelland Children’s Foundation where she was first elected president in 1970 and re-elected in 1974; her election as president of the Broadway Theatre League in 1969; and her appointment to the Pueblo Community College Council by then Gov. Dick Lamm in 1983 and later appointment to the Pueblo Community College Advisory Council in 1986. Recognized for her many contributions to Pueblo’s community, Gretta was awarded as one of the Outstanding Women in 2016 by the Pueblo City-County Library District.

Beyond her accomplishments, Gretta lived her life with passion in so many varied areas of activities.  She used her artistic talents to design and furnish family homes in Pueblo, Aspen and Beulah, each with separate and distinct architectural character (Mid-Century Modern; Miner’s Cottage; and Spanish Style). She spent endless time on her giant loom weaving things like table runners, wall hangings and clothing, often for friends and family. Her need for cashmere to weave led to her starting a herd of cashmere goats in Beulah where she combed cashmere and milked the goats for her “to die for” goat flan and chevre.

Gretta deeply loved her grandchildren and was passionate about her time with them. She especially liked exposing them to the country life she and Wes enjoyed in Beulah riding ATVs, driving in her Mustang with the top down, putting up hay in the barn or simply playing baseball in the front-yard or ping-pong in the basement. Gretta loved to thrill her grandchildren with experiences involving her animals, especially her Tennessee Walkers riding trail in the Wet Mountains.

Gretta’s passion for life and her legacy live on through her children, Todd (Nancy) Kettelkamp,  Brad (Christine) Kettelkamp, and Dirk (Martha) Kettelkamp; grandchildren, Sara Kettelkamp, Brodie Kettelkamp, Charisse (Mark) Petersen, Jessica (Meg) Kettelkamp, Missy (Joshua) Alexander,  Sidney  Kettelkamp, and Ashley Kettelkamp; and great-grandchildren, Meara Petersen and Rosie Petersen.  She is preceded in death by her oldest son, Greg Kettelkamp in 1969; spouse, Wesley in 2021; parents, Clayton and Elva Holder; and brother, Benjamin Holder.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial in Gretta’s name may be given to The Buell Children’s Museum at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center. Online condolences at


Memorial Service: April 12, 2024 10:00 am

First Presbyterian Church
220 W. 10th Street
Pueblo, CO 81004


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  1. I had the pleasure of meeting Gretta in Wednesday Morning Club eighteen years ago and I will fondly remember her wit, intelligence, sense of adventure, and wonderful smile. A quote comes to mind when I think of Gretta …. “I don’t say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could.” …… I think she would have laughed.
    My condolences to her family; she will be missed.

  2. CandleImageGretta, what a wonderful life and legacy. Your presence and impacts are felt in so many areas. Your communities will forever be better for your passions and commitments. One measure of a life is their family. Your children and their offspring carry your passions and spirit well.

  3. CandleImageGretta was a remarkable woman and a dear family friend. She has made Pueblo a better place. My sincere and heartfelt thanks for the role she played in my mom’s life. She loved her dearly.

  4. Condolences from our family to all of her family, Truly an amazing lady She will be missed by many.

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