Yesterday Alan and I drove down to Ithaca for my Grandpa Ludington’s memorial service. In July 2010 he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, which is the most common and aggressive form of primary brain tumor. He had brain surgery, chemo, and radiation. But it wasn’t enough, and he passed away on February 12, 2011, just seven months after his diagnosis.
The service was held in the church he and my grandma attended for more than 30 years: Bethel Grove Bible Church. I will weave together pictures from the service with a brief biography [update: the biography is taken from the memorial service program] of him.
Born in Holley, NY, Dave [my grandpa] graduated from Cornell with a B.S. (1956) and an M.S. (1959), both in Agricultural Engineering; he earned a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Agricultural and Sanitary Engineering in 1968.
at the church
He joined the faculty at Cornell in 1959 in the Department of Agricultural Engineering, where he taught and conducted research for 35 years, before retiring in 1995. During that period, he taught courses in electricity, refrigeration, energy technology, water pollution, and environmental technology. As founder and director of the Cornell Agricultural Energy Program, he helped establish seven demonstration farms that showed the farm public what can be accomplished through the use of sound energy management technologies.
Dave Jones: friend, Pastor of Bethel Grove Church
After retiring from Cornell, Dave founded DLTech, a consulting firm that worked with dairy farmers to produce a better product, conserve energy, and improve profitability. Recently, he directed work in anaerobic digestion on dairy farms. He was still working with several farms until the time of his diagnosis….
Kirsten Seitz Peltz
Dave received Christ as his personal Savior at age 30, and that decision impacted the rest of his life. He received great pleasure in ministering to those who attended Bethel Grove Bible Church, by serving as a deacon, elder, Sunday School teacher, small group leader, member of the finance committee, and by the church bus.
Chuck Tompkins, former Pastor of Bethel Grove
He was passionate about his family—Letty, his wife of 54 years, and their three children, Debbie, Paul, and Anne, their spouses and eight grandchildren. He was blessed with his first great-grandchild in January, 2010.
Teresa Ludington (my mother), reading a eulogy
It was a good kind of memorial service: a nice mixture of sadness and celebration. It was also really nice to see so many family members together!
My sister Katherine came down from Boston:
People say we look alike…
My brother Dan and his wife Kristen came up from DC
Alan even wore a suit!
Doesn’t he look happy to be in a suit?
There were two receptions. The first was on the church property, and there were a LOT of people there!
In the evening there was a smaller (but still 70 people!) reception for family, closest friends, and people who had traveled long distances to come. We shared some more rememberances, and enjoyed the company of people we get to see so infrequently.
All in all, it was a good day. I really am going to miss my grandpa. He was an exceptionally kind man, who gave you his full attention when you were speaking. He always learned the names of waitresses when we went out to dinner, and would tease them with a big smile and a twinkle in his eye. He was spunky and active, and a lot of fun to be around.
Someone said that it was ironic that he would have loved to be there, at his own funeral. He would have been so happy to greet all of his friends.
Love you, Grandpa!
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