Family members chose a candid photo of Lois and Michael Ladd, arm in arm, having a good laugh, for their obituary photo on the Weber & Rodney Funeral Home website.
It provides quite a contrast to the shock and sadness being felt in the community over their deaths.
Lois Ladd, 68, a chiropractor, and her husband, Michael Ladd, 79, a general contractor, were found stabbed to death in their Edwardsville home on March 18. A 23-year-old Collinsville man has been charged with first-degree murder.
The obituary acknowledges that the Ladds died “tragically,” but it focuses mainly on happier times.
“Lois was known to live her life to the fullest, celebrate big, and was always on to the next adventure, welcoming anyone who would join her,” it states.
Mike is described as fun-loving, generous, young at heart and willing to help anyone.
“He and Lois loved to travel and particularly enjoyed skiing and spending time at their retreat in Indiana,” the obituary states. “They enjoyed hosting exchange students and have kept in touch with them for more than 25 years.”
The former Lois Buchta was born in Granite City. She married Michael Ladd, a Highland native, in 1976. Both came from big families. He had nine brothers and sisters. She was the only girl in a family of five boys.
In her early years, Lois Ladd participated in 4-H and Edwardsville High School theater. She graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and worked at its Mississippi River Festival before earning a chiropractic degree at Logan University in Chesterfield, Missouri.
Lois and Michael Ladd were active in the community. They were members of Edwardsville Rotary Club and recipients of its Paul Harris Fellowship Award. Lois Ladd was involved with the Modern American Dance Company in St. Louis, Gamma Sigma Sigma Sorority and Zonta International.
The Ladds’ visitation is scheduled from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Edwardsville. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the church with the Very Rev. Jeffrey Goeckner officiating.
At the family’s request, no press will be allowed inside the church during the funeral, according to a St. Boniface spokeswoman.
Memorial donations can go to the International Chiropractics Association Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics, Nine Network of Public Media (Channel 9) or St. Boniface Capital Campaign. The funeral home website has a “tribute wall” for people who want to share memories or provide words of comfort.
Edwardsville police found the bodies of Lois and Michael Ladd about 10:30 a.m. March 18 at their home in the 800 block of North Kansas Street. One of Lois Ladd’s employees had called and asked for someone to check on them. The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was brought in to investigate.
On March 17, police had arrested Zachary Capers, 23, of Collinsville, on an outstanding Madison County warrant in an unrelated incident in Worden and later linked him to the Ladd case.
On March 19, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons charged Capers with four counts of first-degree murder. Capers is being held in the Madison County Jail without bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 5 in Third Judicial Circuit court.