Joseph A. Ida

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Joseph A. Ida, 96, of Fort Scott, Kan., passed away on Friday, Aug. 5, 2011, at home after a long illness.

Joe was born on Aug. 2, 1915, in Philadelphia, Pa., the son of Matthew and Adele Ida. Joe lived his early life in Springdale, Pa., and graduated from Springdale High School in 1933. He received his bachelors of arts degree in Arts and Science (engineering) from Pennsylvania State University in 1938. He was active in the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the Army ROTC.

After graduation from Penn State, Joe worked for the Reynolds Metals Company in Louisville, Ky., as the chief engineer. While employed with Reynolds, he was in charge of building an aluminum extruding facility in Grand Rapids, Mich., called Extruded Metals Defense Plant Corporation.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and graduated from Officers Candidate School in August 1944. He became a captain in the 489th Engineer Maintenance Company, which functioned in the Southwest Pacific. Several days after the atomic bomb was dropped in Japan, he was transferred from the Engineer Corps to the 525th Technical Intelligence Corps, where he was promoted to major and served on General MacArthur's staff. He made a number of campaigns including Leyte and was elected to represent the United States during the PaullyMission on reparations.

He returned to civilian life and built an aluminum extruding plant in Magnolia, Ark., where met and married Jo Ann Bennett on Oct. 7, 1950. Joe was recalled to the Korean War. After the Korean War, Jo Ann and Joe moved from Magnolia to Louisville, Ky., in 1957, where they started their business, Extrusions, Inc. In 1963, Jo Ann and Joe relocated the business to Fort Scott.

Joe was a true patriot and loved our country. Some of his best friends were men and women that he met during his time in the Army with whom he stayed friends until his death. Joe was an avid sportsman having fished and hunted all over the U.S., including Alaska. He also loved fishing at the Arctic Circle and in Mexico. Joe loved his friends and family and was happiest telling stories and singing with them. He had friends everywhere he went and helped many people from all walks of life.

Survivors include one daughter and her husband, Billie and Mack Forrester of Dallas, Texas; one son and his wife, Matt and Janet Ida of Fort Scott; three grandchildren, Leslie Adele Hinton of Houston, Texas, Caitlin Ida Ashworth of San Francisco, Calif., and Joseph C. Ida of Kansas City, Kan.; two great-granddaughters, Audrey Adele Hinton and Ann Caroline Hinton of Houston, Texas; and one sister-in-law, Bess McLaughlin of Midland, Texas; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jo Ann; his parents; his sister, Rose Ida Caliguiri; and two infant sisters.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, Aug. 9, at 10 a.m., at Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church, 714 S. Eddy, in Fort Scott with the Rev. Darrin May officiating. Burial service will follow at the National Cemetery with military honors conducted at the cemetery by the Olson-Frary-Burkhart Post 1165 Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Detail. The family will receive friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Monday, Aug. 8, at the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home. Memorials are suggested to the St. Mary's Catholic School of Fort Scott or to the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Disabled Veterans at Texas A&M University and may be sent to or left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 West Wall, Fort Scott, KS 66701.

The family wishes to thank the members of Helping Hands and Southern Care Inc. Hospice who cared so lovingly for Joe during the last two years.