Carl Howard Ledbetter, 92, of Porterville passed away at his home on Thursday, February 28, 2013. He was born on July 14, 1920 in Monroe, Oklahoma, the oldest son of Benjamin Monroe Ledbetter and Jessie Gladys Alderson.
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In his youth, his parents divorced and Carl lived with his father and younger brother, Napoleon (Pete). During the Depression, Carl and his father and brother wandered all over the southwest working whatever job they could find, mostly in the fields. They moved to California in 1935 and mostly worked in the citrus industry picking oranges. He was working for the Chevron Chemical Company in Richmond, California when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Soon after, Carl joined the Navy and was sent to San Diego for boot camp. After boot camp he was assigned to the Naval Aviation School at Alameda Naval Air Station. He then was shipped to the South Pacific where he served in the Fiji Islands and New Hebrides Islands.
After the war, he settled in Porterville where in 1946, he was hired by Superintendent Howard Beard as a custodian, grounds man, and bus driver. He met Donna May Brooks, who worked as a secretary in the Superintendent's office, and the couple was married in Reno, Nevada on July 3, 1948.
Their only child, Carla Sue Ledbetter, was born on September 28, 1954.
Carl was eventually promoted to Supervisor of Maintenance and Transportation. In 1960, he transferred to the Porterville Union High School and College District as the Supervisor of Maintenance. During his long 33 years of service to the Porterville School District, Carl was a devoted, hardworking employee. He was often the first to arrive, usually at five in the morning to get his drivers and custodians ready for the day, and he was often the last to leave. The district also had campuses at Johnsondale and The Tule Indian Reservation, and when there was not enough time in the week to send a man to maintain those schools, Carl would often give up his Saturday and drive to those remote locations and handle the repairs by himself.
He retired from the School District in 1981. In 1956, he and Donna joined the First Lutheran Church of Porterville, where he remained a member until the church was disbanded.
Carl served on many of the council positions of the church, and oversaw many of the building projects. He then belonged to Zion Lutheran in Terra Bella and for the last years of his life he attended Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Lindsay.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his two younger brothers, his wife Donna in 1991, and his only child, Carla in 2012.
He is survived by his son-in-law, James Holtermann of Strathmore, and his grandchildren, Jason Holtermann of Buckeye, Arizona, and granddaughter, Melissa Alcantar of Strathmore, also by nine great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 11 am at Myers Funeral Services & Crematory, 248 North E, Porterville, CA 93257.
In lieu of flowers, send your donations to Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 1044 N. Parkside Ave., Lindsay, CA 93257.
Published in The Porterville Recorder on Mar. 6, 2013