Joseph Cameron Kettles of Bruce Mines, Ontario, Canada age 84 passed away peacefully surrounded by his family in Thessalon, Ontario on March 26, 2019. Born in Lansing, Michigan on October 10, 1934 to parents Cora (nee Stobie), and Grant Kettles. Joe received his high school diploma in 1952 at Bruce Mines Continuation School. While attending General Motors Institute of Techonology he was drafted into the United States Army. Following his father’s flying career as a pilot in WWI for the Royal Air Force, Britain and later in WWII as a United States Army Air Corp pilot, Joe realized his love of flying and graduated from Army Flight School in 1959. After his active duty service, his civilian flying career began in 1962 as a helicopter pilot on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico flying offshore for oil and gas exploration and production efforts. This started a world wide flying career that spanned over 30 years flying airplanes and helicopters from the north slope of Alaska to the jungles of South America and from China to the east coast of Africa and many points in between. Joe’s military career included over 30 years as an Army Reserve and National Guard fixed and rotary wing flight instructor. During his long career with Petroleum Helicopters (PHi), Joe was instrumental in pioneering the first offshore IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) program to allow helicopter operations offshore in poor weather—one of his proudest achievements. His accident-free flying career spanned well over 20,000 flight hours and almost 40 years. Joe retired as a professional pilot in 1994 and was active in the community of Bruce Mines and surrounding area.
Survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Jean Kettles (nee Fleming); his son James (Mary) of Mansfield, Texas, and their daughters Sarah and Hannah; and son Jon (Kate) of Dallas, Texas, and their children Cameron and Max. Predeceased by brothers Robert, Richard, Charles, and twin brother James.
If desired, the family appreciates donations to the Calvary Baptist Church of Desbarats.
Family and friends are invited to visit at the Calvary Baptist Church, 40 Lake Huron Drive, in Desbarats, Ontario on March 30, 2019 beginning at 12pm until time of funeral service at 2pm. Pastor Craig Rankin officiating. Arrangements entrusted to Beggs Funeral Home