Moultrie Observer


October 11, 2010

Col. William F. Ladson

ST. JOHNS, Fla. — Col. William F. Ladson, (U.S.A., Retired), 95, of St. John’s, Fla., and formerly of Moultrie, died Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, at his home.

Graveside rites with military honors will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Westview Cemetery with the Rev. William N. McQueen officiating.

Born Oct. 9, 1915, Col. Ladson was the son of the late John E. Ladson Sr. and Anna Laura Rhodes Ladson. Bill, as he was more intimately known, grew up in Moultrie and attended Moultrie Public Schools. He graduated from high school in the spring of 1932. The following fall he entered the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. Following two years, during which he remained at home assisting his father with the farming operations, he returned to The Citadel in the fall of 1936, graduating in the spring of 1938 with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, and a reserve commission in the United States Army.

He married Elizabeth Johnsie Surratt of High Point, N.C., upon college graduation.

After graduating, he was employed by W.F. Scott and Company in Thomasville, Ga., as a general contractor specializing in highway and bridge construction. In February of 1940, he received orders to active military service. With a four-year interruption in service during 1946-1950, he was recalled to active military service, where he remained pending retirement. He retired after approximately 38 years of combined military and civil service to his country. He was highlighted by being chosen a member of a construction management team of a special engineer directorate charged with design and construction of military family housing for non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel in support of President Nixon’s voluntary military program.

He was a professional engineer licensed in the State of Georgia and was a life member of the Society of Engineers. He was a charter member and an Ambassador Emeritus of Hasan Shrine, a 32nd degree York Rite Mason, a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, a Knights Commander Court of Honor, a member of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Royal Order of Scotland.

He and his wife returned to Moultrie in May 1974, where he continued his engineering pursuits in a combination of both employment and private practice. In May 2001, Bill and Johnsie moved to Altamonte Springs, Fla., to be near their daughter, Jean. The couple attended Christ Episcopal Church in Longwood, Fla., where he became a lay reader and co-treasurer, along with his daughter, Jean.

He continued to live in Altamonte Springs with his daughter, Jean. Upon Jean’s retirement in June 2010, they built a home just south of St. John’s, Fla., to be near Jean’s son and his family.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Johnsie, after 67 years and eight months of marriage; son, William F. Ladson Jr.; daughter, Tommie Jean Ladson; sisters, Carolyn Byron and Mary Vereen; brother, John E. “Jack” Ladson Jr.; and grandson, Smith Ladson.

Survivors include three grandsons, Dan L. Murphy and wife Nancy of Jacksonville, Fla., William F. Ladson III and wife Jennifer of Thomasville, Ga., and Charles M. Ladson of Macon, Ga.; two granddaughters, Johnsie Nelson of Las Vegas, Nev., and Betty Sweet Atkinson and husband Austin of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; nine great-grandchildren, Bryan and Amanda Murphy, Denise, Aja, Samuel and Benjamin Nelson, William F. IV and Simmons Ladson and Anne Charles Atkinson.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. today, Oct. 12, at Cobb Funeral Chapel.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 1657, Moultrie, Ga., 31776 or Christ Episcopal Church, 151 W. Church Ave., Longwood, Fla., 32750.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Cobb Funeral Chapel.

Please send condolences to the family online at


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