Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Wilshire Rotary Celebrates Al Woodill’s Centennial Birthday

Rotarian Alfred Woodill celebrated his 100th birthday with his fellow Rotarians in January. (Back row: John Miron, Dan Hodgkiss, former City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Carolyn Layport, Rotary President Ron Reyes; Front row from left: Fluff McLean, Al Woodill, and Scott Clifford. (photo from Ron Reyes)

The Wilshire Rotary celebrated the 100th birthday of Rotarian Alfred Woodill at its January 22nd luncheon meeting. Mr. Woodill joined Wilshire Rotary in July of 1965, more than 54 Years ago.

“We had a full house for the centennial celebration for Al Woodill,” said Ron Reyes, Wilshire Rotary President. “Dignitaries from the Rotary attended, including our current district governor, past district governor, many past presidents, past members, as well a lot of current members, including some from out of town.”

Affectionately known as “Woodie” and “Big Al,” Woodill was born on December 26, 1919 in the Alvarado District, near the Pico Union area. His family moved to Beverly Hills in 1920, when there just about 800 people in Beverly Hills, according to the census at the time. Woodill was a college student when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Knowing he was going to be drafted, Woodill decided to enlist in the Army Air Force. He served from 1941-1945 as a Captain in the US Army Air Corp – 95th Squadron, 17th Bomb Group. Trained as a fighter pilot, Woodill ended up  flying B26 and B29 bombers. During the war, he was stationed in Italy and Africa. After the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, Woodill was able to return home and resume his college career.

“But when Al returned to school, he realized that he was an adult compared to the other students on campus,” Reyes told the Buzz. “Eventually he finished his business degree at UCLA. He worked as a flight instructor for a period of time. In 1947 he became the Executive Director of the American Gem Society where he served for forty years until his retirement in 1987. Woodill helped developed standards for the public to gauge color, cut and clarity of gems.

In 2006, Woodill also shared his memories of his wartime service with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project:


LA Native Alfred Woodill celebrated his 100th birthday with his fellow Rotarians at the Wilshire Rotary on January 22, 2020. (photo from Ron Reyes)

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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