Paul E. Ledford, age 94, of Erwin passed away Saturday, June 25, 2016 at the Center on Aging and Health after a lengthy illness. He was born December 25, 1921 in Unicoi County, a beloved son of the late O.M. Ledford and Martha Jane Jones Ledford. Other than his parents, he was preceded in death by thirteen brothers and sisters: Marcina, Blanch, Viola, Carrie, Monroe, Ida, Deckie, Robert, Ralph, Irene, Raymond, Roland and Roy. He leaves behind to cherish his memory his wife of seventy-four years, Marion Harris Ledford and daughter, Patricia Ann Ledford and her husband Jim Sniatecki, Johnson City; Rick Bowman, grandson, Port St. Lucie, FL; Angela Bowman Kobelin, granddaughter and her husband Joel Kobelin, Royal Palm Beach, FL; John Sniatecki, grandson and his wife Erin, Gainesville, GA; Dean Sniatecki, grandson, Austin, TX; great grandson James Bowman and great granddaughters Saylor and Isabelle, several nieces and nephews.
He developed his work ethics at an early age, being lifted onto the plow horse and riding to the mill to
get the corn ground and working the fields with his siblings at their farm on Coffee Ridge. When the family moved to Erwin, he joined the CCC Camp workforce at Norris Dam, sending his earnings to his Mother to supplement the family income. In 1942 he married Marion Gertrude Harris and they moved to Detroit, MI where he worked for Detroit Sulphite Pulp and Paper Company. After moving back to Erwin he enlisted in the Army and served as a Munitions Worker, loading bombs into the B-24 bombers in the battles and campaigns of Air Offensive Europe, Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe and Northern France in WWII. He was awarded an Honorable Discharge as Corporal, 558th Army Air Forces Base Unit in the Army of the United States, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with one Silver and one Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal and Marksman in Carbine and sharpshooter in Sub-Machine Gun. He was proud to serve his country and quick to tell everyone he met that he was ‚ Äúan old War II veteran‚Äù! He loved sharing his stories and had a quick humor that was contagious!
After the war he worked as a heavy equipment operator throughout the United States for several years before starting his own company, Ledford Construction, in Erwin. Many families in the mountains did not have running water in their homes until he installed reservoirs and plumbing for them. After back surgery he had to give up his construction business but never stopped working around his home and lending a helping hand to others whenever possible. Three days before he was admitted to Center on Aging and Health at age 91 he was trimming his shrubbery! He was an amazing hard working Christian man, a good and faithful son, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He loved children and they loved him! His loyal companion dog Tipper was always by his side and now lives in FL with his granddaughter. The family cannot express their gratitude enough for the loving care he received from the staff at the Center on Aging and Health in Erwin. Their kindness to the family duri ng this difficult time will always be remembered and so appreciated.
The family will receive friends Saturday, July 2, 2016 at Robert Ledford Funeral Home, from noon until the hour of service. Reverend Steve Rice will officiate at the 1:00 P.M. funeral service. Music will be provided by Alan Foster.
Military honors will be rendered by the Kingsport VFW Post #4933. Pallbearers are Jim Sniatecki, Rick Bowman, Wayne Bowman, Jerry Chandler, Joel Kobelin, and Steve McKinney, devoted neighbor and much loved friend . Honorary pallbearers are Gene Ramsey, Clarence Bailey, Harry Lewis and Hoover Wilson.
The committal service will follow in Roselawn Memory Gardens, Old Erwin Hwy., South Johnson City, TN.
Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the family through our complimentary, interactive Book of Memories at www.ledfordfuneralhomes.com.
Robert Ledford Funeral Home, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is privileged to serve the Ledford family. (423) 743-1380.