On June 15, 2023, Willard Ladner, devoted husband, father, and grandfather, departed this earthly life after a long valiant battle with cancer and went home to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
He was born on April 25, 1937 to Xavier and Lucretia Ladner in Fenton, MS. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the US Army from 1957 to 59, where he was stationed in Germany together with Elvis Presley. In 1960 he began employment with Coast Electric Power Association, married Cecile L. Malley, and went on to have 4 children: Willard Ladner Jr, Tina Roundtree, Phillip Ladner, and Howard Ladner.
Willard was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Brett Ladner; brothers, Xavier Ladner Jr. and Arthur Lee Ladner; and sisters, Marie Warren, Eva Gay Cuevas, Odelia Wendling, and Lois Cuevas.
He is survived by his wife, Cecile Ladner; children, Willard Jr, Tina, Phillip, and Howard; grandchildren, Kristen Broussard, Phillip Ladner Jr., and Mark Rabb; great grandchildren, Payton Achee, Cameron Achee, Chloe Achee, Mason Patrick, and Lance Rabb; sister, Elnora Ladner; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In 1992 he retired after 32 years of being a loyal employee. An avid and master gardener throughout his life, he could mostly be found in his garden where he felt closest to God & where he would be found giving his grandchildren rides in his wheelbarrow, as well as teaching by his example, the life skills learned by tending a garden: "Faith" of things not yet seen, "Commitment" of regular care, and "Patience" to see results. His great appreciation of nature's "portal to inner peace" was also evident in his enjoyment of gathering bounty from our Bay & Gulf waters during fishing and shrimping trips with family and friends. Whether from land or sea, he was passionate about sharing his harvest with all. He loved cooking it all up for and with family especially. He was notably an award-winning chef representing CEPA. Willard, who was never without a dance partner, was also an excellent Dancer (jitterbug, two-step, waltz, etc.), enjoying a variety of music including Elvis' "An Evening Prayer" CD. Now that Willard is fishing with the Master of the Seas, he will remain forever in our hearts. His Spirit lives on in the lives he touched with his most genuine kindness.
Private services were held on Monday June 19th 2023 at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Pass Christian.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
Edmond Fahey Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Willard Ladner.