After Tri-State, Mr. Ketner returned to North Carolina and began working for his brother, Glenn, at his grocery store in Kannapolis. From that job, he moved on to Cannon Mills and worked up to the position of auditor.
In 1942, Mr. Ketner volunteered for the U.S. Army. He spent 35 months in Africa and Italy during World War II. After the war, he returned to Rowan County and worked as an auditor, an IRS agent and an agent for the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
Mr. Ketner is the Chairman Emeritus and Co-Founder of Food Lion, Inc., which was started in 1957. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award at his induction into The Institute of American Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame in 1990. Mr. Ketner is one of the first five Laureates inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame at its inception in 1990. He received the Citation for Distinguished Citizenship from the North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry in 1992. He has received numerous awards in the supermarket field and has appeared on television talk shows. Mr. Ketner retired from Food Lion in April 1991 and is an Adjunct Lecturer in Business at the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business at Catawba College.
He is married to Anne Blizzard Ketner, and they reside in Salisbury. He has a son, Robert, a Vice President with Merrill Lynch in Greensboro, and a daughter, Linda, who has a consulting firm in Charleston, South Carolina.