By Edgar Sandoval and Ginger Adams Otis, nydailynews.com
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Read more at http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/fdny-goodbye-hero-died-9-11-linked-lung-cancer-article-1.2773081