He was a jack of all trades, a Christmas light connoisseur, a master at the two-finger wave, he never met a stranger, and his smile would light up a room. A self-taught electrician, carpenter, and plumber there truly was nothing he could not do. If you had the pleasure of sitting with him on his front porch, you probably heard a story or two about his 1937 Ford – driving it across a frozen Atwood Lake, or how much he loved his grandkids, or maybe he just made you feel special in that moment – he was a master at that.
Born March 6, 1926, in Shooting Creek, North Carolina, Earl was the son of the late Robert Early and Rachel “Belle” Holden Ledford.
His wife, the late Anna C. (McCarty) Ledford, whom he married July 2, 1947, passed away Sept. 23, 2016.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Marvin L., Zeb, and Bee Ledford, and a sister, Claudine Moore.
Earl was a 1946 graduate of Hayesville High School in Haysville, North Carolina. Earl owned and operated the former Ledford Electric and Plumbing for 20 years and retired in 1991 as General Superintendent for the Ohio Department of Transportation after 30 years of service. He was a member of the Christ Community Church (formerly Dellroy Presbyterian Church) for more than 70 years. Community-minded throughout his lifetime, service to his local area began when he and Bob Mallernee started the Dellroy Volunteer Fire Department in the late 1940s. He served as a volunteer firefighter for close to 25 years. He was also instrumental in establishing the Dellroy Homecoming. Many will remember him walking down the midway during homecoming with a ladder on one shoulder and a pocket full of ride tickets – ready to be handed out. He was a Boy Scout leader of Dellroy Troop #144 for 11 years. He was a member of, or volunteered for a host of organizations, including, but not limited to the 40-plus years as a member and officer of the former International Order of Odd Fellows #706 in Dellroy, and was currently a member of Hadassah I.O.O.F. Lodge in Greentown, Ohio, a 50-plus year member of the Carrollton Masonic Lodge #1400 and Scottish Rite, Valley of Canton, and the Dellroy Ruritans, where he was a charter member. Earl led the Ruritans in installing the Christmas lights in Dellroy for many years. He also delivered holiday meals and Share-a-Christmas gifts to local families. He was a very visible member of his community. It was a common sight to see him flipping burgers, cooking breakfast, or watching over the barbecue chicken on a fire pit for a volunteer organization. He also utilized his plumbing and electrical skills to assist his community whenever it was needed to prepare for a special event or to assist with a special project. He was a loving father, grandpa, great papa, and uncle – whose presence will be sorely missed by his family and an entire community.
He is survived by two sons and a daughter, Larry (Sandy) Ledford and Randy (Karen) Ledford, both of Carrollton, OH, and Sharon Ledford of Dellroy, OH; four grandchildren, Shane (Jennifer) Ledford of Canton, OH, Travis Ledford of Carrollton, OH, Joshua Ledford of Seattle, Washington, and Dr. Keely Kent of Canton, OH; and four great-grandchildren, Lucca Ledford, Rocco Ledford, Raymond Kent, Kalihan Kent, and a host of longtime friends.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in the Dellroy Christ Community Church, 20 East Main Street, Dellroy, with Rev. Scott Welch and Rev. Kenneth Ogg officiating.
Interment will follow in the Leavittsville Cemetery.
Calling hours will be held Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. in the Baxter-Gardner Funeral Home at Sherrodsville where Masonic Services will be held at the conclusion of visitation.
Contributions in Earl’s memory may be made to Community Hospice, 716 Commercial Ave. SW, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663 or Christ Community Church, P.O. Box 145, Dellroy, Ohio 44620.
To leave an online condolence message please visit the funeral home website: www.baxtergardner.com.