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Ruth Ladd dies at age 108

Ruth Ladd died Thursday, Jan. 3, at CCH. This photo was from her 108th birthday celebrated April 28, 2012. From the Star-Observer archives

Ruth K. Ladd, age 108 years, 8 months of Hudson, died Thursday, Jan. 3, at the Christian Community Home in Hudson. She is the mother of longtime Hudson businessman Charles (Chuck) Ladd.

Ruth Ladd had been a Hudson resident since moving here with her husband Chauncey in 1986 when they moved into WinterGreen. The couple moved to Pine Ridge on the CCH campus in July 1997. Chauncey died June 7, 2003, a month short of his 99th birthday.

Ruth was active and lucid up to the time of her death. 

Ruth was born on April 28, 1904, in Naperville, Ill., the daughter of John W. and Mary L. (Moeller) Kline. She was raised in Naperville and played girls' basketball. She graduated second in her class of 25 students from Naperville High School. She went on to college and graduated 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, Ind. They were married on Nov. 6, 1937, in Naperville. They had two sons, Charles of Hudson and Bob Ladd from Nipomo, Calif.

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.

When the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was enacted, her father insisted she exercise her right to vote whenever she could. She first voted in the congressional elections of 1926, and never missed voting in a presidential election. She cast her last ballot in the 2012 election. 

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 national fame as Willard Scott gave her a birthday salute on the Today morning show on NBC.

A private graveside service to inter the cremains of Ruth and Chauncey together will be held at the Naperville Cemetery at a later time.