Mary Ann Ladic was seven years old in 1941, and lived in Baguio, Philippines, where her father supervised a gold mine. In December, 1941 the entire family was taken prisoner by the Japanese . They spent the next three years as prisoners in a succession of camps, each with worse conditions and less food than the last. In February, 1945 the family was being held in Bilibid Prison in Manila when the American Army finally liberated the camp. Her liberators included a cousin who served with the 530th Engineer Company. The family returned to the U.S. and resumed a normal life. Mary Ann came of age in Taylorville, married when she was twenty, then decided to earn her bachelor's degree at age twenty-eight. She went on to a career in education and later as a stock broker, all while having nine children and earning several advanced degrees.