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DOWNEY – William “Bit Landsdale, a Southern California land developer and real estate/oil and gas investor, died at Los Alamitos Medical Center on June 27 after battling a short illness. He was 94.
Landsdale was born in Sugar Land, Tex., on Oct. 25, 1919 to Ludwell and Arylne Landsdale.
His family settled in Downey in the 1930s “amongst the orange groves.” He later migrated to Newport Beach, followed by Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and finally Long Beach.
In 1971 he married Marianthi Kozaites and together they traveled through all seven continents.
Landsdale was an early visionary of creating large, open-air retail centers. Out of a sugar beet ranch, he developed Stonewood Center (originally called the Downey Mall) in the 1950s to provide top rate fashion and entertainment to southeast Los Angeles County.
In the 1970s he was the majority partner in developing the Marina Pacifica Mall and Condominiums in Long Beach, transforming old oil fields into waterfront property.
His proudest achievement, however, was also one of his earliest: he served during World War II in the Pacific Theater as a First Lieutenant for the Army Air Core. He piloted planes that dropped paratroopers and cargo over enemy territory, and he remained in service to assist with the post-war effort.
Funeral services for William Landsdale will be private. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requested donations to the Wounded Warriors Project.
Published: July 10, 2014 – Volume 13 – Issue 13