Frank Pride Laidler, 90, affectionately penned “Doc” by his adopted father, was born in Unadilla, (Dooly County), Georgia on April 12, 1929. He was the second child of twelve children raised in a unique way by his father and mother, T. J. Cobb and Lydia Laidler Cobb. He departed this earthly life on Saturday, June 7, 2019 at his home. Frank attended the North Side Elementary School in Cordele, GA. After graduating the eighth grade, he moved to Florida to live with his cousin, Theodore Laidler, where he worked as a Chef apprentice. He served one tour in the Korean War and fifteen years in the United States Army Reserve. In the early fifties, he migrated to Detroit, Michigan joining the large influx of minorities seeking better employment. He was employed by Packard Motor Car Company, but got wind that Ford Motor Company was offering an equal opportunity employment package that included a Chief Engineer test. “Doc” surprised Ford and passed the test and worked for Ford Motor Car Company for 37 years in various positions as Chief Engineer, Welder and Plant Manager. For years he served as Shop Steward for their Union, the United Auto Workers, and became a voting member of the executive board for Ford. He leaves to cherish his memories: his wife, Susie Ritter Laidler; his children, Marilyn Laidler, Alton Ritter (Yolonda) and Debbie Ritter Smith; eight grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; one brother, Jerome Peter Cobb; four sisters, Bertha Cobb Everett, Mary Pearl Cobb Cuspard, Diane Cobb Jacobs, LaJoyce Cobb Woolery (Randy); one aunt, Julie Mae Cobb; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. The family will receive relatives and friends at the home, 1455 Morris Way Drive, Sumter. Funeral services will be held Friday, June 14, 2019, 2 p. m., from the John Wesley Williams Sr. Memorial Chapel, Williams Funeral Home, Inc., 821 North Main Street, Sumter, with Bishop Jeffery Johnson, officiating, and Pastor Jannie Dingle, eulogist. The funeral procession will leave from the home at 1:20 p. m.
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