Eugene Neil Ketner, 82, passed away in Graham on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. Memorial Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 14, at the First United Methodist Church-Graham. Neil will be buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery-San Antonio. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, at the Pettit residence, 725 Kentucky. 

Neil was born March 9, 1931, at Ketner's Mill near Victoria, Tenn., to Gene and Clara Ketner and grew up in the immediate area.

He joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Texas. Upon completion of his military duty, he moved his family to Tennessee where he graduated from the University of Chattanooga with an engineering degree. Neil returned to Texas when his career took him to General Motors before becoming Plant Engineer for Hexcel in Graham. He went on to become an entrepreneur in the oil industry and an independent inventor. Neil was awarded four U.S. Patents for his work on timepieces and water-saving devices. During the past 25 years, Neil had resided in the Texas Gulf Coast area.

Neil was preceded in death by his brother Donald Ketner.

Neil is survived by daughters, Karen Pettit and husband Carter of Graham and Carla McGettigan and husband John of Houston; grandchildren, Brooke Adamick and husband B.J., Libby Johnson and husband Weldon, Bridget McGettigan, Grace McGettigan and Ellen McGettigan; stepchildren, Jason Matsumoto, Alicia Lester and Jonathan Lester;  great-grandson Barrett Adamick, and sister, Betty Jo Morgan of Dayton, Tenn. 

The family requests that any memorials to Neil be made to the Lone Star Flight Museum, P.O. Box 3099, Galveston, Texas 77552-0099.

Neil will best be remembered for his Common Sense Newsletters ( that numbered over 1,184 musings of wisdom and observations of life such as this one:

"When you're in your 40s people ask you if you'd change anything in your life; and, you're supposed to say, 'Oh, no, I've had a wonderful life. I wouldn't want to change anything.' Yeah, I'd like to change some things, but it wouldn't do any good … you still end up at approximately the same crossroads. Life is a road of pot holes, some are little, some big. And, if the now is ‘good,' then it doesn't matter about the bad along the way…"