Ruth K. Ladd, age 108 years 8 months of Hudson, died peacefully Thursday, January 3, 2013, at the Christian Community Home in Hudson.
Ruth was born on April 28, 1904 in Naperville, Illinois, the daughter of John W and Mary L. (Moeller) Kline. She was raised in Naperville where she graduated from Naperville High School and from North Central College with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She worked for a decade after college, mostly as a legal secretary for a Chicago law firm. In 1936 she met Chauncey H. (C.H.) Ladd, a structural engineer and Purdue graduate from Grant County, Indiana. They were married on November 6, 1937, in Naperville. Their union was blessed with two sons: Robert and Charles.
When the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was enacted, her father insisted she exercise her right to vote whenever she could, and she did. She served as an election judge for many years and never missed voting in a presidential election, casting her last ballot in the 2012 election. She was an avid bridge player; she played bridge with her family several times during Christmas week just this last year.
She was a member of the Eastern Star and Daughters of The American Revolution, conducted serious genealogical research and published three books: One Ladd’s Family, One Ladd’s Family Revisited and The Kline Line. She was a lifelong member of Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville.
Ruth was intelligent, had a wry sense of humor and remained actively engaged until her death. To keep her mind occupied, she read the St. Paul newspaper, including the bridge column, and solved their word jumble every day. Last May she received a moment of national fame as Willard Scott gave her a birthday salute on the Today morning show on NBC.
Ruth leaves to celebrate her life: sons Robert (Tinamarie) Ladd of Nipomo, CA, and Charles (Elizabeth) Ladd of Hudson, and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Chauncey, her elder brother LeRoy H. Kline, and her beloved niece Dorothy L. Kline.
A private graveside service to inter the cremains of Ruth and Chauncey together will be held at the Naperville Cemetery at a later time. Memorials to a charity of the donor’s choosing are preferred. Funeral services are entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Hudson.
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