Woodrow was born in Hattiesburg, MS on January 8, 1937. His birth parents, Eunice and Sarah Ladner preceded him in death. He was raised by his stepfather Robert Keller. He accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Friendship Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Ms. He was an active member who served in the choir and participated in many youth organizations.
The family relocated to Annapolis, Maryland where he graduated from Bates High School. Inspired to serve his country, in 1955 Woodrow enlisted in the United States Air Force and rose to the rank of Sergeant. He masterfully executed special missions abroad and was honorably discharged July 1963.
While serving in the military he met and married his first wife Geraldine Taylor. In their union, one child was born, Dellbra Pateste Ladner.
After his military service, Woodrow continued his thirst for learning and went on to further his education at Los Angeles Harbor College in Wilmington, California. He proudly earned a degree in Business Administration.
Woodrow began his professional career as a Marine Clerk at the Long Beach, Oakland and San Francisco Ports. As a proud member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local “63” in Los Angeles. He fought to bring women into the union in an effort to get them hired at the port.
He relocated to Los Angeles, California where he met and married his wife of 39 years, Sondra Denise Ladner. Together they shared a love of Jazz, traveling and taking excursions with the family around the country, to such exciting places as Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Cuba.
He was a life-long civil rights activist who served as a member in good standing of the Congress of Racial Equality. He passionately and effectively protested for equal opportunities for the minority business community in the city of Oakland. Woodrow passed away on September 12, 2023.
Everyone who knew Woodrow quickly learned he was a student of history and current events. He was an avid reader who often sent reading material to his children, grandchildren, family and friends.
Woodrow, who was L.A. City Councilmember Curren Price’s father in law, leaves to cherish his memories his devoted wife, Sondra Denise Ladner, Corona, California; two daughters, Christine Ladner, Annapolis, Maryland; Dellbra Richardson Price (Curren) Los Angeles, California; Godson: Richard Avery (Janice), Hayward, California; two sisters, Dorie Ladner and Dr. Joyce Ladner, Washington, D.C.; two grandchildren: Dennis Don-Che Richardson (Toshie), San Pedro, California; Dakira Williams (Joseph) Rialto, California; four great grandchildren, Chelan Richardson, Desoto, Texas; Kai Che Richardson, San Pedro, California; Zayla Williams and Ziyah Williams Rialto, California, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends.
The family would like to extend special thanks to one of his caregivers, Deditra Williams, Porter, Texas.