In Memory of Four Peacemakers
by Fr. Frank Cordaro

Ladon Sheats, PRESENTE!

Ladon Sheats

A former top executive of IBM in the 1960’s turned nonviolent resister to war, Ladon died Aug 7th in Santa Maria CA at the age of 68 from cancer in the loving care of close friends and Catholic Workers. A former member of Jonah House, Ladon became well known Catholic Worker - resistance circles over the years for his consistent nonviolent resistance to war, his simple lifestyle, his love and service to the poor, his strong spiritual base and his clarity of though.

I first met Ladon Sheets in Aug of 1977. We were arrested together at the Pentagon on Aug 9th. After ten days in a DC jail, we were dragged before a Fed Magistrate Judge in Alexandria VA for trial. Up to that point, the Fed judges were giving people time served for similar Pentagon protest. Friends from Des Moines had made the trip to DC for my trial and I expected to go home with them. So, when I received a 30 days sentence from the judge that day, I returned to the holding cell in a near state of shock. It was Ladon who listen to me express my disappointment, he comforted me in my grief and than challenged me to look beyond the 30 day sentence the judge had just given me and start asking myself, if I had what it took to be doing this resistance work five, ten or fifteen years from now. Because, Ladon told me, because this struggle demanded life long commitment.

Through the years, Ladon lived his “talk” in a most generous and gentle way. And in the process, he inspired many of us Catholic Workers for many years. I last saw Ladon in Omaha NE at our May 29th Labor Day Demo at Offutt. He crossed the line and got a ban and bar letter with Sam Day among others that day.

Ladon Sheets, may your soul rest in peace.