Remembering Bob Ready
It is with deep sadness that leaders of The National WWII Museum must report the death of our Board of Trustees member and legendary advocate, Bob Ready, who passed on March 18th. Bob Ready was the founder of Cincinnati-based LSI Industries, a leading manufacturer of LED lighting, outdoor lighting, indoor lighting, and commercial lighting solutions. LSI has been recognized in Business Week’s list of “Best Small Companies” and four times in the Forbes magazine “Top 200 Best Small Companies in America.”
Ready entered the Air Force upon graduating college, serving in Europe for two years and the reserve for four. As a result of his military service, Ready was inspired to build a memorial dedicated to the US Army Air Forces’ role in World War II. In 1999, he organized an expedition to Greenland in search of a B-17 Warbird that went down in 1942. Though he was unable to track down the aircraft, he had the opportunity to purchase another B-17, “My Gal Sal,” that was successfully recovered in 1995. Ready and a crew of 23 volunteers logged more than 800,000 hours restoring the bomber that was intended to fly to Europe before making an emergency landing in Greenland in 1942. When the restoration was complete, Ready generously donated the iconic plane to the Museum in 2012.
Ready remained a loyal supporter of the Museum since he agreed to become a Trustee in December of 2012, a month before the opening of the US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center. According to Museum President Nick Mueller, “Bob was a man of great spirit and heart, and we will miss him dearly.” His generosity and strength lives on as Museum visitors continue to admire “My Gal Sal” in the US Freedom Pavilion. The National WWII Museum is deeply grateful for Bob Ready’s support and devotion to history education.