September 3, 1930 - October 6, 2020
South Beloit, IL - An admirer of Sir Winston Churchill's tenacious spirit, "Never, never...never give in," were Churchill's words that Alan (Al) Robert Ingram lived by. Al died at his home in South Beloit, Illinois, Tuesday, October 6, 2020. He was the youngest of seven children, born September 3, 1930, in Beloit, Wisconsin, to the late George Ingram and Elizabeth (Thomas) Ingram.
Al attended the White School in rural South Beloit, Illinois, a one-room schoolhouse. Al often reflected on his teacher, Maude, who instilled in him values he lived by throughout his life. He graduated from South Beloit High School in 1948, and often reminisced about his football glory days. It was there in those halls he met the love of his life, Virginia Mandera, whom he would marry on January 27th, 1951.
Following graduation, Al attended Spencerian College in Milwaukee for business and subsequently the University of Illinois. In August of 1951, Al was drafted by the U. S. Army to serve in the Korean War. While attending training at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Baltimore, Maryland, he became involved in the theater, performing in Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury.
After being discharged from the service, he kept a promise to his mother to return to the family homestead. Al painstakingly built the home where he and Virginia would raise their family. Al was very proud of all of his children, Cynthia, Rodney, and Malissa, all three of whom inherited his attention to detail and pride for their work.
For many years Al was a drummer and a lead vocalist for two local bands, The Rhythm'Aires and The Continentals. Al was a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the electrical trade with his students during his time as an instructor at Blackhawk Technical College.
Al was a lifelong Episcopalian, a former member of The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, The American Legion, and The Harvard Moose. Al's simple pleasures included, listening to 720 WGN, mowing and maintaining his four and-a-half acres, woodworking, tinkering in his garage, enjoying a single beer at 5:00 o'clock, and being a diehard Chicago Bears and Cubs fan.
He was his happiest on the homestead surrounded by family. In his later years, his greatest joy was his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Until his health prohibited, Al (Papa) attended many events for his grandkids, including Taekwondo, football, baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, basketball, dance recitals and dance competitions. He wore his University of Montana, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Northern Illinois University, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign baseball caps to proudly represent each grandchild.
Al was a prolific storyteller, and his memory will be kept alive through the many stories he told. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Virginia Ingram; his children Cynthia Lidbury of Rockford, Illinois; Rodney Ingram of Black Creek, Wisconsin; Malissa (Kenneth) Self of Roscoe, Illinois; his grandchildren, Joseph (Leah) Lidbury of Appleton, Wisconsin; Katherine (Steven) Mumm of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin; Nicholas (Megan) Self of Rockford, Illinois; Danner Self of Roscoe, Illinois; and four great-grandchildren, Brooke, Edward, Bailey and Bennett.
Al was preceded in death by his parents George and Elizabeth Ingram and his six siblings.
Memorials on Al's behalf may be made payable to St. Jude's Children's Hospital and mailed to Daley, Murphy, Wisch & Associates, 2355 Cranston Road, Beloit, Wisconsin 53511. A private memorial service is planned for the family.