Donald Clyde Ledford, 73, passed away on Saturday, October 15, after a period of declining health. Don was born on March 30, 1949, to Jack and Ruby Rathbone Ledford.
Don was a proud US Army Veteran, who served our country during the Vietnam War. In the army, Don was trained and served as a Manual Morse Code Technician, a job in which he monitored enemy radio frequencies and intercepted communications. His diligence and competency in his role resulted in several honors. For his service, Don received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.
After his Army days, Don took a job at Collins and Aikman in Old Fort, where he remained a faithful employee for more than 30 years. He served the company in multiple roles, starting on the mold line and working his way to supervisor. Don had an exemplary work record and was a hardworking, trustworthy employee.
After he retired, Don spent his time “wandering the county,” visiting friends, and enjoying a comfortable life. But his greatest pleasure was spending time visiting with and talking to his family. Don was the proud dad of two children, Heather Leigh and Joshua Franklin. Anyone who knew Don, knew he considered his children his greatest accomplishments.
Heather, born in 1976, and Joshua, born in 1981, loved their dad. From their first moments, Don was wrapped around their fingers, and took great pleasure in treating them to shopping trips. Joshua loved trips with his “good daddy” to get a bottle of Donald Duck orange juice and a pack of Reese’s Pieces. Both Don and Joshua treasured their short time together. Don was devastated when Joshua died unexpectedly in June 1986. The family takes great comfort knowing Joshua greeted Don as he entered Heaven on Saturday.
Heather loved and cared for her father throughout her lifetime. She was the apple of her dad’s eye, and he showered her with cards and gifts on every possible occasion. Heather was never without Valentine’s Day cards or Easter candy, thanks to her dad. He called her every day (sometimes multiple times) to check in, just say “hi,” or to see that she had arrived safely home. Don was a dedicated and loving father whose children were his world.
In addition to his parents, and his son Joshua, Don was preceded in death by his brother Wallace Ledford.
Those left to cherish Don’s memory are his daughter, Heather Ledford, of Marion; brothers Jackie Ledford and Gary Ledford; his sister Betty Polydoros; and a number of nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, October 23, 2022, at the Chapel of Beam Funeral Service. Tim Wilkerson will officiate. The family will receive friends from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., prior to the service, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Valor Hospice of the Charles F. George VA Medical Center in Black Mountain.