DONALD LEE LUDWICK
Donald Lee Ludwick, 72, of Mediapolis, passed away on Thursday, November 7, 2019, surrounded by family at his home.
His family will be celebrating his life on Thanksgiving from 2:00 to 4:00 at 1824 Highland. A memorial fund has been established at the funeral home in memory of Donald. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sandhfuneralservice.com.
Donald (Don, Donny, Hector) was born on July 5, 1947, in Keokuk, Iowa, the son of Kenneth Lee and Doris Jean (Newberry) Ludwick. On July 28, 1988, Don married Frances Kay Schlarbaum, daughter of Emery and Jessie Schlarbaum of Bloomfield, Ia. Don’s four children are: Kenneth (Helen) Ludwick of Louisville, KY, Jared (Robin) Arledge of New Salisbury, IN, Richelle (Brian) Kipp of Mediapolis, IA and Shannon (Jason) Ludwick of West Burlington, IA. He had six granddaughters, three grandsons and one great-grandson.
Don’s siblings are Linda Wagler and Jeanne Crabb of Burlington, Mark Hiller of Huntington Beach, California and Robert (Stacy) Hiller of Burlington.
He was preceded in death by his parents; stepdad, Gary (Goob) Hiller, grandson, Adam Bement, one brother, Kenneth Lee Ludwick in infancy, his good friend, Jack Smith and beloved dog, Sam.
Hector was a hard worker, and whatever the job, he had high standards.
At age 10, he had a mowing business that was so successful, he had to hire two friends and ended up owning the first self-propelled mower in Kahoka, MO.
Starting at 18, he owned a few body shops in his life, including MASH Painting and Sandblasting in Burlington.
His work ethic and finished products were excellent. After retiring from painting and drywall, Don and Fran worked from home constructing thick plastic liners by hand.
The giant liners were used in shipping containers for the transport of cow hides. The two made over 41,000 units during a 10 year span.
While he always had a garden, growing organic food was his work for the rest of his life, along with raising goats.
Don was a believer and promoter of organic farming and eating decades before it was trendy. He was a master at his craft and grew an astonishing amount and variety of produce that he and Fran proudly sold at farmer’s markets.
The first vendors at the Burlington market, they also had a booth at the Davenport market, earning loyal customers at both.
He always seemed to know about the next supplement or health craze months or years before it became mainstream.
He never stopped reading, learning and educating his family.
Don just wasn’t ‘average’ (interestingly, he was both green-eyed and left-handed).
He had an exceptional mind, was opinionated and outspoken, but even his biggest critic could not deny having respect for him.
For someone with no degrees or formal training, he was a virtual expert on health, the body, nutrition, organic gardening, animals, government, common sense, plants, math, science, homeopathic/alternative medicine, herbs—at least in his family’s opinion.
He always had a youthfulness about him, an ornery streak and a sense of humor.
Over the past five years, he put up an unyielding fight, his way, against cancer.
Though small in stature, he was obviously tougher than most judging by all the ways he escaped debilitating injuries and even death throughout his life.
His experiences sounded like the stuff of legends and would leave his family shaking their heads, amazed and in disbelief.
It was a treat when he would start recalling ‘This one time…’ as his listeners leaned in to hear him recount with such detail another accident turned miracle.
Don loved and was loved in return by his family, his best friend, Jack Smith who was such a blessing to him, and his dogs, Sam, Charlie and Bella.