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Laird Clark Addis, Sr
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Birth: May 20, 1914
Montgomery County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jun. 27, 2011
Iowa City
Johnson County
Iowa, USA

Laird C. Addis, Sr. of Iowa City died on June 27, 2011 at his home at Bickford Cottage, at the age of 97. Services for him will begin at 10:30am Saturday, July 2, 2011 at the First Baptist Church of Iowa City, 500 North Clinton Street, with the Reverends Dorothy Whiston and James V. Davison officiating. Visitation will be Friday evening, July 1, from 5 to 8 at the Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service at 2720 Muscatine Avenue. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church.

Laird Clark Addis was born on May 20, 1914 in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, the only child of Ruth Frances (Beard) and Howard Lester Addis. For most of his childhood years he lived in New York City, during which time he was taken to meet Madame Curie, a friend of his mother's employer during Curie's first visit to the United States. At the age of 12, following a move with his mother to Bath, New York, he won the Steuben County spelling championship, and graduated from Haverling High School in Bath in 1932.

On February 14, 1935, the Reverend Fred Webber, brother of the bride, officiated at the marriage of Laird and Dora Ersel Webber in the parsonage of the First Baptist Church in Bath. Ersel Addis died in 1995, two months after their 60th wedding anniversary.

Mr. Addis worked in various jobs, including that of sports reporter, before joining the Federal Civil Service in 1937, which took him to positions in Oswego, Staten Island and, for most of World War II, Schenectady, New York, where he was Chief Clerk for the U.S. Army Depot. Near the end of the war, he and his family moved to Des Moines and then, in l946, to Iowa City, where his wife had been raised. He worked in Iowa City as an accountant for Lagomarcino Fruit and Vegetable Company until its closing, and then for Westinghouse Learning Corporation until his retirement in 1979. For many of his retirement years, he served as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and for the Iowa City Head Start.

Recognized by an historian of the subject as one of the four most prolific puzzle makers of the 1930's through the 1950's, Laird Addis published his first crossword puzzle in 1930. In the half century following, he became well known to fans across the nation with hundreds of puzzles in the New York Herald Tribune, the annual Simon and Schuster crossword puzzle book, and other publications. Many people will also remember Laird Addis for typing their doctoral dissertations or other academic documents, something he did during evenings and weekends for more than 30 years. He was also a master proofreader for Westinghouse and others.

Laird Addis was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Iowa City for more than 65 years where he served as Sunday School superintendent, moderator, deacon, and treasurer in addition to singing bass in the choir. Family and church were central to his life.

Known for their hospitality, Laird and Ersel's home was a place of welcome and acceptance. For many years, the Addis family included foster children. Laird's other activities included playing the piano, leading singing, reading, working crossword puzzles, playing cribbage, shooting pool, and spending time with his many friends. Laird and Ersel were blessed with four trips to Europe with family. Laird was also a longtime fan of the Chicago Cubs baseball team and the Iowa Hawkeyes athletic teams.

Mr. Addis is survived by his four children: Laird Addis, Jr. and his wife Patricia of Iowa City, Winston Addis of Bellevue, Washington, Yvonne Addis and her partner, Craig Hickok of Mason City, Iowa and Sue Dayton and her husband Chuck of Iowa City; nine grandchildren: Kristin Addis (Jamie Lloyd), Erin Caster (Nick), Jenny Kelchen (Craig), and Kathy Shey (Mike) of Iowa City, Sally Dayton (Dan Hickey) and Karin Addis of Chicago, Illinois, Shaun Leibfried (Dietmar) and Lisa Proehl (Pete) of Bellevue, Washington, and Cameron Addis (Marianne Ezell) of Austin, Texas; and fourteen great-grandchildren: Hazen Addis, Luken Addis, Zoe Addis, James Caster, Benjamin Caster, Amelia Kelchen, Patrick Shey, Thomas Shey, and William Shey of Iowa City, Josef Leibfried, Lisa Leibfried, Emma Proehl, and Jacob Proehl of Bellevue, Washington, and Reese Hickey of Chicago. He was preceded in death by his wife Ersel, his daughter-in-law Georgi Addis, and his great-granddaughter Sophie Proehl.
Family links: 
  Ersel Webber Addis (1914 - 1995)*
*Calculated relationship
Oakland Cemetery
Iowa City
Johnson County
Iowa, USA
Plot: Block 29, Lot 114
Created by: Sue
Record added: Jul 22, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73735197
Laird Clark Addis, Sr
Added by: Sue
Laird Clark Addis, Sr
Added by: Sue
Laird Clark Addis, Sr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Shiver
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