Nelson Ladd was born on November 1, 1931 in Eureka, Kansas. He passed away in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.
He is survived by his wife, Bette and Bette’s children, Mike Saari, Kim Saari and her husband Doug Fowler, and grandson Austin Saari. Brother Charles and his wife Jean, Charles’ daughter Christiane Ladd Smith. Brothers-in-law, Dick Vanberg, Carmen Anderson, Glenn Gaddis and sisters-in-law, Jean Vanberg, Lorraine Anderson, and Connie Benson, and cousins Nancy and Robert Mills, Leanne and Mike McGinney.
He was a Korean War veteran and served with the 84th Engineer Construction Battalion, US Army in 1952 and 1953. He participated in the construction of the Libby Bridge over the Imjin River. He also worked on humanitarian projects during the war with the building of refugee camps in Pusan. At the conclusion of the war, he participated in the marking the 38th parallel at the DMZ.
After his service in the Korean War, Nelson continued his education, receiving both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Physics from the University of Wichita. He taught Physics as a professor at Wichita State University. Through a scholarship, he pursued advanced studies in Physics at Arizona State University.
Nelson always understood the importance of education and thus he founded an ongoing scholarship for physics students at Wichita State University. In his career, he worked as a physicist at Goodyear Aerospace for over 25 years, working on various military projects and also on the Apollo 17 mission. He was also very active in in serving our community on various committees for the City of Phoenix, Phoenix Police Department, Arizona Supreme Court, and Phoenix Art Commission.
He enjoyed traveling, boating, and fixing things to make them work. In 2013, he and his wife travelled to South Korea in special ceremonies at the Korean Military Academy and participated in Korea Revisit program sponsored by the South Korean government. Nelson was also very active in the Korean War Veterans Association of Arizona serving in various officer positions. He was highly recognized for his outstanding work as the editor of the newsletter for the West Valley Chapter of Korean War Veterans Association.
For many years, he also devoted many hours to preparing his truck and trailer for the parade entry in the annual Phoenix Veterans Day parade. He had a deep devotion to making sure that the Korean War is not forgotten. His life and service will never be forgotten.
His funeral service and internment will be on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 10 AM at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona at 23029 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85024 . Following the funeral there will be a reception at Moon Valley Country Club at 151 West Moon Valley Drive Phoenix, AZ 85023. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: Arizona Korean War and Defense Veterans Association, c/o S. Schwartz, State Treasurer, 4337 E. Calle Redonda, Phoenix, AZ, 85018.