Josephine "Jo" Ladwig

Josephine "Jo" Ladwig

Josephine “Jo” Ladwig, 91, passed away peacefully Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was born Aug. 15, 1928, in Hazelton, Kansas, to Mayme and Hilmer Best, and she was one of four sisters. Jo graduated from Kansas State University in 1951 and received a master’s degree in library sciences in 1970 from the College of Emporia.

Jo worked as an elementary school teacher and librarian until moving to Columbia to teach child development at Stephens College. Jo married Merlyn Robertson of Oberlin, Kansas, in 1949 and had two sons, Timothy and Pat.

In 1980, Jo married Charles Thomas Ladwig and enjoyed a happy marriage until his death in 1994. A longtime resident of Columbia, Jo was a founding member and early board chairperson of Unity of Columbia. In retirement, she was chairperson of the auxillary at Boone Hospital and served as ombudsman at The Bluffs. When she wasn’t volunteering, Jo enjoyed spending time with her family and her grandchildren, gardening and reading murder mysteries.

Jo moved to New Orleans in 2015 to be closer to her family. Jo is lovingly remembered by her three sisters, Fran Kahler, Carol Balding and Marilyn Davis; her adoring son, Tim Robertson, and his wife, Nancy (New Orleans); stepsons Craig Ladwig, Phil Ladwig and Tim Ladwig; grandson John Robertson (New Orleans); granddaughter Sarah Robertson Miller and her husband, Aaron Miller (Alexandria, Virginia); 7-month-old great-granddaughter Josephine Elaine Miller; and many nieces and nephews.

Jo was preceded in death by her parents, husband Tom Ladwig, son Pat Robertson and brothers-in-law Pete Kahler, Jim Balding and Roy Davis.

Jo’s ashes will be buried with her son, Pat, in Oberlin, Kansas, and scattered at Unity Village in Kansas City. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Unity of Columbia, 1600 W. Broadway, Columbia, Missouri 65203.

  • I'm an assistant city editor. This is my junior year at MU, where I study investigative reporting and political science. Interests include local journalism, breakfast food and good books. Email with any story tips.

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