In Memorium: Ted Roland Ledford

Ted Ledford, an influential professor of English and the longtime chair of the Division of English Language and Literature at Lees-McRae, passed away on June 12 at age 87.  

“Dr. Ledford was a fixture of the Lees-McRae College community for decades, and he had a tremendous impact on the college and the region,” said President Lee King. “He was the living embodiment of our motto—In the Mountains, Of the Mountains, For the Mountains—and he will be missed greatly.” 

Ledford worked a variety of different jobs after graduating from Bowman High School in 1952. He trained as an electronics technician in the U.S. Army during the Korean Army and served in the communications center in Uijongbu, Korea. Following his tour of duty, Ledford enrolled in Appalachian State Teacher's College and discovered passion for academia and teaching.  

Ledford joined Lees-McRae as a faculty member in 1963, and in 1967 took a brief leave to earn his PhD in British Literature from Ohio University. He returned to Lees-McRae and worked at the college until his retirement in 2002. In addition to teaching courses in composition and British literature, Ledford helped organize the Lees-McRae Photography Club and provided photography and videography services to campus through his media company Ledford Productions.  

As a devoted supporter of higher education and the High Country, Ledford was involved throughout his career with the Appalachian Consortium, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving Southern Appalachian culture. In 1998, Ledford received a Laurel Leaf Award from the Consortium for his work on behalf of the region.  

Ledford is survived by numerous relatives, including his wife Eleanor, and his two daughters and their families.  

Read more about Ledford's life

By Emily WebbJune 15, 2021