Kenneth Merrill Stetson


Kenneth Merrill Stetson of West Hartford, Connecticut and Chatham died peacefully on May 22, 2019 surrounded by his family.  He was 91 years old. He was born on March 20, 1928 in Brooklyn, Connecticut, the son of Kenneth Gallup and Miriam (Cornell) Stetson. 


            Ken attended Brooklyn Grammar School and graduated from Killingly High School in 1946.  He then enrolled at the University of Connecticut, where he earned both bachelor’s (1950) and master’s (1962) degrees.  He also received a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in 1963 from the University of Hartford.  


            Through the R.O.T.C. program at the University of Connecticut, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  He served on active duty for three years, and subsequently served in the United States Air Force Reserves for twenty years.  


            Ken devoted his career as a science teacher and guidance counselor to the children of West Hartford, where he was employed by the Board of Education for four decades.  He began teaching in 1950, and retired in 1991 from Sedgwick Middle School.  Ken’s warmth, humor, and his wise and gentle presence provided guidance and strength to many.  


            He and his family enjoyed many summers at their home in Chatham.  Whether boating on Nantucket Sound, sailing on Pleasant Bay, hiking and exploring by land or by sea the history and geology of the Cape, he especially loved time outdoors.


            He was the beloved husband for sixty-four years of Karin (Sandberg) Stetson, cherished father of Anne and David and of David’s wife, Claudia, and treasured grandfather of Eleanor, Caroline, Sarah, and Sarah’s husband, Joel.  He also leaves his sister, Miriam Schings and her husband, Alfred, and many nieces and nephews.  Ken was predeceased by his brother, Clayton. 


            A memorial service to celebrate Ken’s life will be held on Saturday, June 15 at 11 am at Emanuel Lutheran Church, 311 Capitol Avenue, in Hartford.  Friends may greet family members at a luncheon following the service.  Instead of flowers, donations may be made to Emanuel Lutheran Church designated to the Sandberg Mission Fund by mail (311 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106) or electronically at