Ivan Lee “John” Pendergraft, 96, Ford River passed away Sunday August 4th at Christian Park Village.
John was born April 1, 1923 in Coweta, OK to Ollie P. and Cora G. (Beaver) Pendergraft. He was the last surviving of 13 children.
John joined the Army November 4th, 1942 and was honorably discharged February 14th, 1946. While stationed in Detroit, MI he met his future wife Mae Rose Flynn. They were married June 25th1944 in Toledo, OH and were married 65 years before her death in March of 2010. After his discharge John and Mae Rose made their home in Harris, MI where John worked as a janitor and bus driver for the school. Eventually they opened a lumber company in Hyde – Pendergraft Lumber and Building and bought a piece of land in Ford River where they and two of their children built the family home. John joined the Carpenters Union in 1964 and was still a member upon his death. John worked for American Timber Homes and Cap Homes than in 1967 went to work for Marshall Erdman and Associates out of Madison, WI., which built medical building all around the country including the Doctors Park in Escanaba. He retired in 1988 as a Superintendent with Marshall Erdman but continued on with his love of wood working by making stagecoaches and carving wooden horses.
John was a union brother of the Carpenter Local #1510 and a member of the Escanaba Eagles Aerie #1088 and the VFW Post 2998. He was a Charter Member of the Ford Rivers Lions Club and helped construct the building. He helped build the Ford River Township Hall and on the Harbor Hideout in Ludington Park.
His hobbies included playing smear, golf and bowling. Because he was a World War II veteran he went on the 2012 U.P. Honor Flight. He has been to 49 of the 50 states the only one being Alaska which he never made it to.
John is survived by two daughters Judith (Dale) Deloria and Jayne (Bill) Church, both of Ford River, MI; grandchildren Tammy Pendergraft of Escanaba, MI, Scott (Tricia) Pendergraft of Ford River, MI, Patrick (Katlyn) Church of Menominee, MI, Michael (Emily Haas) Church of Grand Rapids, MI and Daniel Church of Mackinac Island, MI; and great grandchildren, Abigail Pendergraft of Royal Oak, MI, Scott Jr., Brooklyn and Noah Pendergraft all of Ford River, MI and Samuel and Miles Church of Grand Rapids, MI.
He is also survived by sisters-in-law, Naomi Morin of Escanaba, MI, Carol Gravetti and Laverne Higdon both of DeKalb, IL and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife, Mae Rose, John was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, James Lee and Dennis Michael; his grandson, John Limberger; daughter-in-law, Sue Pendergraft; nine brothers, Claude, Hutton, Ray, John, Sam, Glin, Arvell, Melvin and Coy Pendergraft; three sisters, Josie Compton, Beulah Ledbetter and Bernice King.
Visitation will be Friday, August 9th from 4-6 p.m. at Crawford Funeral Home, 302 S. 13th St., Escanaba. The Eagles Aerie memorial service will be held at 4:30 p.m. The Delta County Veteran Council and Army Honor Guard will have military rites at 5:45 p.m. and visitation will conclude with parish prayers at 6 p.m.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 10th at St. Joseph & St. Patrick Church with Rev. Timothy Ferguson officiating. Immediately following the mass, John will be laid to rest next to his wife in the Bark River Cemetery.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Pendergraft family.