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Lorelei Zimmerman Ketter

Born: 1928
Death: 2020

Lorelei Ketter was born on October 1, 1928 in Effingham Illinois.  Lolly, as most people called her, was raised on a college campus, her mother being a professor and administrator at the University of Missouri in Columbia.  She attended university there and received a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics in 1949.  It was at the University of Missouri that Lolly Ketter (then Zimmerman) met her future husband Robert.  They married in their junior year.

The Ketters moved to Buffalo in 1958 when Robert joined the faculty of the University at Buffalo's School of Engineering.  Soon after arriving, Lolly Ketter joined the UB Women's Club and worked to raise money for the Club's Grace W. Capen Loan Fund, a revolving loan fund set up for UB students.

Lolly Ketter had a great interest in the architecture and design of Frank Lloyd Wright. When Robert L. Ketter became president of UB in 1970, Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House served as the president’s residence. However, the Ketters soon moved to a house on LeBrun Road. Lolly Ketter believed the Martin House should be made available to the public.

Lolly Ketter was a great friend and supporter of the UB Archives and played a significant role in early efforts to preserve the Darwin D. Martin House.  It was with her support that the University Archives was able to acquire the correspondence, architectural drawings, photographs and other papers related to the Martin House. These materials were instrumental in the research and restoration of the Martin House Complex.

Lorelei Ketter died August 14, 2020.

  • Sources:
    • Lorelei Ketter obituary, Amherst Bee, August 26, 2020.
    • Brady, Karen.  "The hectic lifestyle of UB's first family."  Buffalo Evening News, May 3, 1971.
    • Brady, Karen.  "Great warmth glows from UB's first lady."  Buffalo Evening News, August 21, 1970.
    • Brady, Karen.  "Mrs. Ketter's new role: she'll make it look easy."  Buffalo Evening News, August 24, 1970.

Affiliation(s): Presidential Spouses
Record Group(s): 4
Biographical File Contains:
  • Obituary
  • Photographs