MONTVILLE, NJ – The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5481 reported that member Cleave Ledford, 95, passed away peacefully April 16 at St. Clare’s Hospital in Dover after a short illness.
Ledford was a longtime Montville Township resident, having moved here in the 1960’s.
Ledford served in the Army during WWII from January 1944 to May 1946 as a Combat Infantryman in the 69th Infantry Division, 3rd Army with Patton. Cleave saw action in France, Holland, Germany and Austria. He was awarded a Combat Infantry Badge.
After proudly serving his country, Ledford served the community by joining the Newark Police Department. Patrolman Ledford retired with 30 years of service. Ledford had his own welding business and one of his accomplishments was rebuilding a steam locomotive in Towaco, where he put his expert welding skills to use.
Ledford was from Okmulgee, Oklahoma, born on Armistice Day (now Veterans Day) in 1925. This gave him two reasons to celebrate the day. Post Commander Ken Hanzl said, “I was a friend of Cleave’s for over 30 years, having met him when he worked part-time for a limo service. He will be missed.”
Ledford’s wife Christine and his son Neil predeceased him. Visitation will be Monday, April 19, from 4-7 p.m. at Keri Memorial Funeral Home, 125 Main St (Rt. 202), Lincoln Park. A service will be held there at 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 20.
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