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1942 Douglas 2023

Douglas Edward Ledbetter

July 19, 1942 — March 11, 2023

Kalamazoo, MI

Douglas Edward Ledbetter, 80, of Kalamazoo, MI, passed away at his home on March 11, 2023 after a hard fought, five year battle with cancer. He was born on July 19, 1942, to Dallas O. Ledbetter and Twila L. (Whipple) Ledbetter, both deceased, in Kalamazoo, MI.

He attended Comstock Schools, then at 17 joined the United States Marines Corps. He first served in East Asia and next stationed at Camp Pendleton and Fallbrook Naval Weapons Station, both in San Diego, California, where he was joined by his wife, Judy and daughter, Theresa.  After an honorable discharge from the Marines, he returned to Kalamazoo and entered the sheet metal apprenticeship program working for A.M.S. for over 20 years. Then to W. Soule & Co. where he retired at 58. After only one year of retirement, he received a call from a construction company working for Pfizer asking him to work for them as a Construction Manager. Doug made his last employment move in 2005 to Tower Pinkster, to a job he thoroughly enjoyed, finally retiring at the age of 72.

Doug had a true zest for life, taking flying lessons, then jumping out of them, going scuba diving in Michigan lakes, even in mid-winter, and diving shipwrecks in the Caribbean.   He tried golfing in his 20’s, and in his 30’s and finally in his forties, he fell in love with the game. He and Judy traveled the world and in their later years settled down to raise llamas and alpacas, or pasture poodles as he chose to call them. He added chickens and beehives, which gave him the pleasure of giving fresh eggs and honey to family and friends.

Doug is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Judy (Elmore) Ledbetter, his daughters Theresa (Ron) Winchester of Almena Township, Laurie (Michael Connor, deceased) Connor of Comstock and his son Matthew Ledbetter of Hickory Corners, MI. Three grandchildren: Seth (partner Samantha Conway) Winchester of Wyoming, MI, Taylor Connor of Washington, DC, and Mallory Connor of Kalamazoo. One great-grandchild, Camden Ray Connor-Johnson of Kalamazoo. Brother, Dennis Ledbetter of Comstock; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Mel & (Elaine, deceased) Klooster, Barbara & Jerry James, John & Karen Elmore; as well as several nieces, nephews, his favorite girl cousins, and friends who are family too.

As per Doug’s wishes, his body has been cremated. A sprinkling of his ashes will be spread on the creek he dearly loved that runs through their property and his remaining ashes will be buried at Maple Grove Cemetery in Comstock. Family and friends will be notified of the date for his ‘Celebration of Life’ which will be held at their home later this spring. Those wishing to donate in his name may do so to the Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 3295, Kalamazoo, MI 49003 or to the charity of your choice. To view Doug’s personalized web page, please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Douglas Edward Ledbetter, please visit our flower store.


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