Colonel Donald Ladner
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Obituary of Colonel Donald A. Ladner

Kinder/Fenton-Colonel Donald A. Ladner, United States Army (Retired), 84, passed away in Lake Charles, Monday, August 5, 2019 surrounded by his loving family.

Left to honor his memory is his wife of 63 years Leavon Rostrum Ladner, of Fenton/Welsh/Kinder; one son, Don Christian Ladner, wife Melanie L. Ladner of Baton Rouge, LA; two grandchildren Madison L. Catalanotto and Lundyn G. Ladner both of Baton Rouge; one brother Nimocks F. Ladner of Jennings and Sister Shirley Lenoir of Poplarville, MS.

Colonel Ladner served in the United States Army for over 30 years, including three combat tours in the Vietnam War.  He was a 1957 graduate of McNeese State University, where he was a varsity letterman in football, baseball, and track & field.  He attended graduate school at George Washington University in Washington, DC and obtained a master’s degree from Shippensburg State University, in Pennsylvania. 

During Colonel Ladner’s time in the Army, he commanded units from the Platoon level to Brigade size and served as a Staff Officer at every level from Battalion Staff to the Department of the Army Staff at the Pentagon.  He also served as the Executive Assistant to Army General H. Norman Schwarzkopf at Pacific Command.  His military education included graduating from the Field Artillery Officer Basic & Advanced Courses, the US Army Command and General Staff College, the United Kingdom Joint Services Staff College and the US Army War College.

Upon retirement from the Army, Colonel Ladner and his wife moved back to Louisiana where he became very active in the Kinder and Welsh communities.  He was elected to the Jeff Davis Parish School Board and was an active member of the McNeese State University Alumni Association.  Colonel Ladner served as chairman of the Board of Directors of Kinder-McRill Cemetery Association and led the founding of the Avenue of Flags and the cemetery’s annual Memorial Day ceremony.  Colonel Ladner was also instrumental in having the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall displayed in Allen Parish in 2000.  He was also an active member of the Kinder Bible Church.  

Funeral service will be Friday, August 16 at 10 AM in Kinder Bible Church of Kinder.
Rev. Don Barrett will officiate. Visitation will begin Thursday at 6 pm until 8 pm at Reed Funeral Home, and Friday from 8 am until time of the service in Kinder Bible Church. Burial will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.