2010-12-30 / Obituaries

John D. Willingham

John D. Willingham, 78, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010, at the Trinity Medical Center in Birmingham, Ala. Born Jan. 9, 1932 in Dearborn, Mich., John was the son of the late Cecil and Frances (Nail) Willingham.

On Nov. 6, 1952, John married the one true love of his life, the former Mary J. Parker. John served his country during the Korean War as a corporal in the U.S. Army from July 1952 to July 1954. For his heroism he was awarded the following: Korean Service Ribbon with one Bronze Star, the Campaign Star, National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.

Shortly after his discharge from the Army, John began his career at Ford Motor Company where he worked tirelessly to care for his family. John retired in 1992 as an inspector at the Wixom Assembly Plant after 37 years of service.

John was a member of the Northline Baptist Church in Taylor, Mich. He enjoyed collecting hats, model cars, bird watching and cooking. Most of all, John enjoyed spending time with his family.

John is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Mary, and nine loving children; Robert and Cecil, both of Mount Carmel, Ill.; David and wife Lynn, of Talladega, Ala.; Michael and wife Joan, of Romulus, Mich.; Catherine of Jamestown; Peggy and husband Barry Martin of Rochester Hills, Mich.; Brenda and husband Marvin Olson of Linwood, Mich.; Ruth Diane and husband Tom West of Hale, Mich., and Patricia and husband Joe Matthew of Monroe, Mich. He is also survived by 27 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, a brother Francis and a sister Sally. In addition to his parents, eight brothers and sisters preceded John in death.

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