Garth H. Ladle passed away Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at the age of 72 following a ten-year battle with Alzheimer's. For the last year-and-a-half, he has received loving care and kindness from the Rexburg Homestead, Aspen Home Health and Hospice and the Rexburg Rehabilitation Care Center. He was known for his jovial character and good sense of humor.
Garth was born on April 1, 1940, to J. Eldon Ladle and Shirley J. Harrison Ladle in Rexburg, Idaho. He was the second of five sons. He attended Adams Elementary School, Madison Junior High and Madison High School. Like his father and four brothers, Garth obtained his Eagle Scout. He also played basketball and lettered in football and track and field.
Before his high school graduation in 1958, Garth joined the Army National Guard. He then attended the Idaho Military Academy at Gowen Field, outside of Boise.
Later, he attended Ricks College, where he met Donna Elaine Jensen from Idaho Falls. They dated and were married on August 17, 1960, in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. They lived a short time in Idaho Falls before leaving for Fort Knox, Kentucky, where Garth attended Officer Candidate School and was advanced to the degree of 2nd Lieutenant in the Idaho National Guard. Garth was awarded a fellowship at ISU in Pocatello, Idaho. He graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor's Degree in Geology. Garth and Elaine had two daughters while living in Pocatello.
The family later moved to Houston, Texas, where Garth accepted a fellowship to the University of Houston. He subsequently applied for and was given an honorable discharge from the National Guard. Garth and Elaine bought a home in Friendswood, Texas, where Garth was called to serve in the Houston Texas Mission Presidency. He worked for Lockheed and Brown Root Northrup at NASA. While there, he had the opportunity to be one of the first to study moon rocks from the Apollo mission. He would later use that information in his doctorate dissertation.
Garth and Elaine had two more daughters while they were living in Texas. Garth also became a counselor in the Alvin, Texas, Ward Bishopric, where he was eventually called as a Bishop and set apart by a young Boyd K. Packer.
In 1974, the family moved to American Fork, Utah, and then to Orem. Garth and Elaine eventually had a son, and Garth later received his Ph.D. from BYU in Petroleum Geology. After Garth's graduation, the family moved to Pennsylvania, where Garth accepted a job with Gulf Oil. While there, their fifth daughter was born. Garth was soon called to be the Stake President of the newly-formed Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, East Stake. He was set apart by Gordon B. Hinckley.
The family moved in 1981 to Petaluma, California, to accept a job with Sohio Oil Company. After only one year in California, Garth returned to Houston for a job with another oil company. There, Garth and Elaine built a home in The Woodlands, Texas, where Garth became Bishop. They lived there for six years, during which the oil industry plummeted to an all-time low, leading to downsizing at his company. Garth transitioned to being an agent with Metropolitan Life Insurance and for other private companies involved in the discovery, drilling and production of oil.
In 1995, Garth, Elaine and family returned to Rexburg. Garth began doing environmental work and wetlands studies throughout Southeast Idaho. He later worked at Ricks College. His responsibilities, among others, included the Elder Hostel program and an off-campus education program at Vashon Island, Washington, involving 25 students. Garth subsequently worked in special education in the Madison School District and then in the Sugar City schools. He retired from the School District in 1998.
Garth and Elaine enjoyed many good times together, even after his diagnosis with Alzheimer's. They served as missionaries for the preparation and opening of the new Rexburg Deseret Industries. They witnessed the building and dedication of the Rexburg Temple and were able to serve there on many occasions. They spent time with a daughter and grandson in Omaha, Nebraska, and visited the LDS Temple there. They enjoyed a trip to Nauvoo and visited the Nauvoo Temple with another daughter before their return.
They attended the mission farewells and baptisms for their grandchildren. They were accompanied by their six children and two grandchildren on a cruise to Alaska in May of 2008 to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They also enjoyed a family reunion that was held in Rexburg in the summer of 2010. Over the years, they have helped welcome many grandchildren into the family. Throughout all these and other experiences, Garth's life was enriched by the love and kindness of many friends and family members.
Garth was preceded in death by his parents, J. Eldon and Shirley J. Ladle; grandparents, John and Fern Ladle and John and Emma Harrison; and by aunts, uncles and cousins from Rexburg, Sugar City and surrounding areas.
He is survived by his wife, Donna Elaine Ladle; his six children, daughters, Dawn Alvey of Boise, Idaho, Marcy (Ramon) Zabriskie of Mapleton, Utah, Cindy (Tim) Barnard of Mesquite, Nevada, April Kreitzer of Boise, Idaho, and Emily (Martin) Harris; and son, Jeremy (Jill) Ladle of Idaho Falls, Idaho; sixteen grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, May 25, at the Hibbard LDS Chapel, 2029 N. 3000 West in Rexburg. The family will receive friends from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Flamm Funeral Home and again from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Friday at the church prior to services. Interment will be at Annis-Little Butte Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent online to www.flammfh.com.