William Lockridge was laid to rest today, Thu., Jan. 20, 2011. A stroke, which led to his death from respiratory failure on Jan. 12, has left many in the District in a state of shock. He is remembered as a fighter. As a member of the D.C. Board of Education, Lockridge, 63, fought for children, especially students who attended schools in Wards 7 and 8, and for equity in education in his school district. As a community activist, Lockridge fought for economic equity in Ward 8 where he lived. As a political activist, Lockridge fought on behalf of his community for equity in the public policy agendas of the D.C. City Council, the Mayor and from Capitol Hill. As an entrepreneur, Lockridge fought for equity for minority contractors who are often overlooked by the city’s developers, even in developments located in Lockridge’s home ward.
But when Lockridge took off his boxing gloves, which were always close at hand, he was a doting husband, father, grandfather, son and friend. He could handle a stove or a grill with expert skill and he loved feeding and entertaining his family and friends. His home was his castle and it was there where he found his greatest happiness.
He was a friend and role model for many young men in Ward 8 who needed a man to help them find their way. From encouraging them to finish high school, to helping to open college doors and training opportunities to get them on their feet, Lockridge was a dependable friend and advisor.
Tears flowed at Lockridge’s homegoing at The Temple of Praise Church in Southeast. But the crowd agreed that their hearts were warmed by the testimonials about a man who fought so hard and so long to make his community a better place to live.