Irene Rosalie Ladd, the daughter of Horace and Rose (Johnson) Petersen, was born on October 10, 1925, in Harlan, Iowa. She attended Jackson #1 country school and graduated from Harlan High School with a Normal Teaching Certificate. Irene taught at Polk #2, Jackson #2 and #9 schools. On February 18, 1945, she married Warren Virgil Ladd at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, Iowa. The couple farmed south of Harlan until 1953; they then moved to rural Jacksonville. They continued farming until their retirement in 1993, when they moved to Kimballton, Iowa. In November, 1996, Irene became a resident of the Salem Lutheran Home in Elk Horn, Iowa.
Irene was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, where she had been active with the Lutheran Church Women, played handbells, and taught Sunday School. She was a member of the JO Club and the Farm Bureau Women. She served as a longtime secretary of a Blue Cross group. Taking care of her family was a priority for Irene. She was a good cook and made lovely wedding cakes. She enjoyed participating in local Farmer’s Markets.
Irene R. Ladd died on Wednesday, April 7, 2004, at the Salem Lutheran Home in Elk Horn, Iowa, at the age of 78 years, 5 months, and 28 days.
Preceding Irene in death were her parents; her husband, Warren V. Ladd, on January 9, 2003; and three brothers, Eugene Petersen, Timothy Petersen, and Carl Petersen. She is survived by two daughters, Roberta (Jim) Bodensteiner of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Kathy (Jim) Cox of Palm Desert, California; one son, Paul (Debbie) Ladd of Boone, Iowa; two brothers, Jim (Alveta) Petersen of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Clemen (Maxine) Petersen of Eaton, Colorado; seven sisters, Frances Grann of Springfield, Missouri; Verda (James) Larsen, Carol (Donald) Hopp, Mary (Richard) Klitgaard, and Lile (Richard) Petersen, all of Harlan, Iowa; Norma Ingwers of Denver, Colorado; and Linda Pollert of Grand Rapids, Michigan; six grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, April 10, 2004, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, Iowa, with Pastor Henry Flessner officiating. Alice Pieper served as the organist. Honorary casket bearers were Emily Cox, Jim Cox, Allyson Ladd, and Christian Cox. Active casket bearers were Paul Ladd, Joshua Ladd, Scott Larsen, Jeff Bodensteiner, Jim Bodensteiner, and Jason Bodensteiner. Burial was in the Jacksonville Cemetery in Jacksonville, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of the arrangements.