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Saturday, September 3, 2016

FDNY- Another Sept 11 related casualty

FDNY firefighters, family and pal Jamie Foxx say goodbye to William Woodlon, 66, who died of 9/11-linked lung cancer

Jamie Foxx accepting an “honorary Woodlon” award in 2015
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An FDNY firefighter who died of lung cancer linked to 9/11 got a hero’s goodbye from friends, family and his beloved Bravest Wednesday.
Hundreds packed the pews in St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem for the funeral of William Woodlon, 66, who died Aug. 20 from lung cancer.
An oversized photo of a beaming 'Woody' in his fire helmet faced his grieving widow, Barbara Woodlon, and the rest of his family as they took their seats.
The widow was accompanied by Hollywood movie star Jamie Foxx.
He met Woodlon in 2013 while in Harlem filming a remake of “Annie,” and the two became fast friends.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro led in a long contingent of FDNY members.
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Barbara Woodlon, the widow of William Woodlon (c.), holds her husband's fire helmet as she's comforted by actor Jamie Foxx (l.) and Kenyatta Turner (r.).

  (JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Outside a line of off-duty firefighters clad in crisp blue uniforms stood in formation.
A vintage red fire truck with Woodlon’s name on it waited to carry his casket away after the somber ceremony.
His oldest daughter told the crowd her father taught her leadership by example.
“My father was a very intelligent man. He loved to tell jokes and he was very athletic,” Monique Woodlon said.
“I learned a lot from him. I heard a lot of stories how he was a hero. He was my hero."
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A vintage red fire truck with Woodlon’s name on it waited to carry his casket away after the somber ceremony.

  (JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Woodlon’s childhood friend Al Peters, 62, said the popular firefighter was just as charismatic in his early days in the Lower East Side.
“He had good swag. He was a Peacock before Muhammad Ali. He cut his teeth on the Lower East Side with us,” Peters said. “I was a little envious because all the sisters loved this brother.”
Ret. FDNY Capt. Ron Gilyard said Woody was known as "The Mayor of 118th St.,” the block where he lived.
Capt. Gilyard got emotional remembering their friendship of 15 years as two of the few black men in the FDNY.
Woodlon was one of 12 African-Americans in his class when he joined the Fire Department in January 1982.
Jamie Foxx tweeted this photo of himself with the firefighter. “Big ups William Woodlon,” he wrote. “#NYC 911 firefighter who's spent his life protecting others & now fights lung cancer. #hero.”

Jamie Foxx tweeted this photo of himself with the firefighter. “Big ups William Woodlon,” he wrote. “#NYC 911 firefighter who's spent his life protecting others & now fights lung cancer. #hero.”

  (JAMIE FOXX)
He was first assigned to Engine 39 on 67th St. in Manhattan. Woodlon worked there until 1996, when he transferred to Engine 21 on E. 40th St. in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan.
“He loved the FDNY with all of his heart, but he loved his family more. He was a fireman's fireman,” Gilyard said.
On 9/11, he recalled, Woodlon was off-duty. But he grabbed his daughter’s bike and rode all the way to tip of lower Manhattan to help.
“He had that calling for saving people he didn't know. I had to salute him,” the captain said.
Woodlon retired after 20 years as a firefighter in February 2002. He was diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer a few years later. Doctors noticed spots on his lungs, then his liver. 
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Hundreds packed the pews in St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem for the funeral of William Woodlon, 66, who died Aug. 20 from lung cancer.

  (JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Church musicians played "It Is Well With My Soul" and "Wind Beneath My Wings" during the nearly two hour service.
During the eulogy, Rev. Marsha Lee-Watson, a long-time friend, recalled Woodlon’s funny side.
She said he always teased her that he got to meet his idol Jamie Foxx and she didn't.
One day he invited her over, promising her she would see the famed actor.
“I never got to meet Jamie Foxx. I got over there. He was on TV,” she mused glancing at the star as he sat quietly with the family.
“Woody burned with passion, the passion of love. He's finally resting. He's done a good job,” she said.
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HARLEM
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