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Ira Ladd

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Ira Ladd Obituary

PEKIN - Ira John Ladd, 97, of 2727 Vista Grande Court, Pekin, formerly of Springfield and Peoria, passed away at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28, 2014, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, after suffering a stroke on June 20.

Born Feb. 19, 1917, in Springfield to John and Lena (Chapman) Ladd, he married Eileen Adams on Aug. 2, 1940, in Springfield. She passed away March 21, 2007.

He also was preceded in death by two sisters, Alice Jostes and his twin, Ila Cravens.

Surviving is one son, Jerry Ladd of Pekin.

Ira grew up in Springfield and graduated from Feitshans High School. He joined Caterpillar in 1936 and had a 45-year career as a pattern maker (graduate and training supervisor), foundry tooling specialist and casting consultant in East Peoria Engineering. He won first place in the national pattern contest as a pattern maker trainee, as had several of his later trainees. He was known for his "super fast" walk in the shop. After retirement, Ira volunteered at Pekin Hospital for several years.

Ira was Illinois State Jr. Checker Champion in 1934, and remarkably, a lock jaw survivor in 1929. He was an avid Bradley basketball fan, attending games in the Armory and for many years as a season-ticket holder in the Field House. He had a passion for white popcorn (without butter) and card games, pinochle, rook and "hand & foot."

Ira belonged to Grace Presbyterian Church and ushered many years with his son. As a teenager, he fired the boiler in winter at Asbury Methodist Church in Springfield.

His funeral will be at 11:30 a.m. today at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. The Rev. Doug Lightly will officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Private entombment will be in Glendale Memorial Gardens Chapel of Dreams in Pekin.

Memorial contributions can be made to Grace Presbyterian Church Deacon's Fund, 8607 N. State Route 91, Peoria, IL 61615.

To express condolences online, visit www.prestonhanley.com.

Published in Peoria Journal Star from July 1 to July 2, 2014
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