John A. Laird

December 10, 1929 ‒ April 26, 2008

Marion, Ohio

John A. Laird, age 78, of Marion, died on Saturday morning, April 26, 2008, at the Marion Manor Nursing Home following an extended illness due to complications with his diabetes.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 10, 1929, the son of the late Arthur and Alice (Baxter) Laird. John graduated from the Senn High School in the Class of 1948 and attended the Wright Jr. College before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

During this time in Chicago, John won a dare against his friends by talking with a young lady, Ruth Ludwig, at a YMCA dinner hall. He not only won the dare, but he also won her heart. On Christmas Day of 1950, they were married by Ruth’s father, the Rev. Dr. L. Harrison Ludwig at Salem Evangelical and Reform Church in Marion. Together they have shared more than 57 years of marriage.

Soon after their marriage, John was called to serve in Korea during the Korean Conflict. He earned the rank of Lance Corporal and was awarded two purple hearts for his bravery.

Upon his honorable discharge, John moved to Marion and began working at the Erie Railroad. For more than 27 years, John worked there as a yard conductor until his retirement on December 10, 1979.

A man of deep faith, John was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he had been ordained as an elder and deacon.

For more than 10 years, John served as a volunteer for the Marion General Hospital, where he, his wife Ruth, and Bob Mackay started the LifeLine Program.

John was a member of the American Legion Post 162, the Marine Corps Foundation, United Transportation Union, and formerly a member of the Marion Noon Kiwanis Club.

With a love for travel, John and Ruth made has many trips as they could to see their son and daughter-in-law in Alaska. They also enjoyed trips upon a river barge down the Ohio River, and trips to Colorado.

With a fondness for war novels, John enjoyed reading. Also, he had an affinity for canine companions, and dogs normally took to him as well.

He is survived by wife, Ruth, and a son and daughter-in-law, Paul and Beth Laird of Anchorage, Alaska.

In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his sister.

His family will greet friends on Tuesday from 1 – 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 143 S. Prospect St., Marion, where a service celebrating his life will follow at 2 p.m. with the Rev. J. David Worthen officiating. Burial with military honors provided by the Marion County United Veterans Council will follow in Marion Cemetery.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home of Marion.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Marion General Hospital, Volunteer Department, 233 W. Center St., Marion, Ohio 43302, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at