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LTG (Ret) Frank F. Ledford, Jr.

Obituary for LTG (Ret) Frank F. Ledford, Jr.

April 22, 1934 - May 15, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 85


Lieutenant General (ret) Frank F. Ledford Jr, M.D. died on 15 May 2019 after a brief illness, attended by his loving wife Marilyn and daughter Dr. Cheryl Ledford.
He was born in Jacksonville, Florida on 22 April 1934, the only son of Hazel Barrette and Frank F. Ledford Sr. During World War II the family moved to Dayton, Ohio, where Frank spent his youth. He graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1955, then entered the University of Cincinnati College Of Medicine. He graduated with an M.D. degree in 1959.

While a medical student, he married the beautiful and talented Marilyn Kain, a University of Cincinnati graduate in 1957, beginning a lifelong loving marriage.
In 1958, Frank was commissioned a 2LT in the Army Senior Medical Student Program, a scholarship he was later able to recommend to other young officers when he was chief of Army graduate medical education. This scholarship was the start of a 34 year exciting and productive military career.

Frank interned at Brooke Army Medical Center, followed by surgical and orthopedic surgery residencies at Womack Army Hospital and Letterman Army Medical Center, ending with a year at the Phoenix Crippled Children's Hospital.
General Ledford's military education included various Army Medical Department schools, the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

He had a number of clinical positions as orthopedic surgeon at Fort Bragg, Fort Leavenworth, Brooke Army Medical Center, Landstuhl and Heidelberg, Germany, and Vietnam (where he was chief of surgery of a 400 bed evacuation hospital).

General Ledford's key command and staff positions included: Chief of Army Graduate Medical Education; Chief of Medical Corps Affairs; Commander of Irwin Army Hospital, Fort Leavenworth, KS; Commander of Martin Army Hospital, Fort Benning, GA; Commanding General, Letterman Army Medical Center; Commanding General 7th Medical Command and Command Surgeon, U. S. Army, Europe.

He was selected to be the 37th Surgeon General, United States Army in 1988. The Surgeon General is a member of the Army General Staff, who directs what was, and is, the world's largest and most sophisticated military medical organization. General Ledford's many challenges in that position included oversight of the Army's medical support of the First Gulf War of 1990-1991, Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. A war won decisively by our forces.
General Ledford's awards and decorations include two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, two awards of the Army Commendation Medal, and numerous other awards and decorations. He was one of the few American officers to receive the Cross of Honor in Gold by the Federal Republic of Germany.

After nearly 34 years of military service, General Ledford retired in 1992. He and Marilyn moved to San Antonio where he assumed the position of President, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR), an internationally acclaimed medical laboratory complex now known as the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. The move was enhanced by daughter Cheryl's acceptance to medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Dr. Ledford's 13 years at SFBR was replete with challenges and many successes. He was especially proud of campus and laboratory renovation and construction during his presidency. An outstanding addition was the Level IV biocontainment lab, the first privately owned such lab in the United States. The lab permitted research into dangerous diseases of great importance, such as Ebola.

Frank and Marilyn were active citizens of the San Antonio community, and strong supporters of the symphony and may charitable organizations, to include The Argyle Club, which serves as support for the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. He was Trustee of the San Antonio Medical Foundation, Trustee of the Southwest Research Institute, a Director of the National Institute for Genome Research in Santa Fe, among others. He was an active member of the Wednesday Lunch Club, and formerly the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

General Ledford earned many honors: first Distinguished Graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; Distinguished Graduate of the University of Dayton; President of the American College of Physician Executives; Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Orthopedics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He was a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Frank was an accomplished classical pianist, with a Steinway he loved, and also a violinist of modest talent. Most of his more recent friends probably didn't know that he held both commercial and instrument pilot ratings.

Frank attributed his successes to the support of his life partner, Marilyn. She was the pillar of the many (26) moves they made together in their nearly 62 years together. The joy of both their lives is daughter Cheryl. She followed her father into orthopedic surgery, initially as an Army surgeon and later a civilian orthopedist. She shared her recent knowledge and experiences often with Frank. Her love and that of Marilyn fulfilled his life.

General Ledford is survived by his wife Marilyn, daughter Cheryl L. Ledford, M.D., her husband Michael J. Sebesta, M.D., and their children, Noah and Marlo.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at Porter Loring Mortuary North.

FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2019
11:30 AM

Chaplain Edward K. Maney officiating. Please consider donations in lieu of flowers: AMEDD Museum Foundation, P.O. Box 8294, San Antonio, Texas, 78208; Texas Biomedical Research Institute, P.O. Box 760549, San Antonio, Texas 78245-0549 (; or charity of your choice.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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