Saturday, June 13, 2009

Carole Ann Willingham

I've spent the last few days in Weatherford, TX to honor the life and legacy of this amazing woman. Many people who are famous, are not great. Many people who are great, are not famous.

Weatherford Democrat - Legacy: "Carole Ann Willingham, 62, surrounded by her loving sons and husband, passed away peacefully at her home in Weatherford Monday evening, June 8, 2009. A courageous fighter, a gifted and caring friend, an amazing mother and wife, Carole Ann embodied the compassion, joy and Christian values of our Lord and Savior throughout her life. Family and friends alike cherish the memory of her smile, the warmth of her hugs and the grace and courage of her trip back Home. Open up the Pearly Gates St. Peter, you have a good one on the way. Carole was born March 5, 1947 in Fort Worth, Texas. A lifelong area resident, Carole graduated from Weatherford High School in 1965. While attending college at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Carole met her future husband before graduating in 1969. Ralph and Carole Willingham were wed May 25, 1968 and loved each other through rich times and poor times, in good times and bad, through sickness and health for 41 years. Through her years in Weatherford, Carole was an active member of the Parker County Teachers Association, served as a Sunday school teacher and for years sang in the church choir. Carole recently retired from the Parker County Co-Op Educational Services where she worked for more than 23 years and made a lasting impact on everyone she worked with. Carole remained active after retirement, keeping busy with her beloved grandchildren, serving the church, Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers and participating in the ministry of the North Side Baptist Church Cancer Care Support Group. Carole cherished her time visiting with friends and family and frequenting the matinee's with the love of her life on Saturday afternoons. Carole is preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Georgia Teague Poulter; and her stepmother, Lola Poulter, all from Weatherford. Carole is survived by her one and only husband, Ralph Willingham of Weatherford; eldest son, Major Paul Willingham USAF of Goodyear, Ariz. and Scott Willingham of Weatherford. She also leaves behind daughters-in-law, Janna Willingham of Goodyear, Ariz., and Stephanie Willingham of Weatherford, Texas. Carole's precious grandchildren include, Macyn Grace, Luke, Tucker and Mia Ann. Carole also precedes her sister, Dru Hogue, and brother-in-law, Glenn Hogue of Benbrook, Texas.Along with her loyal and supportive husband, Ralph, and her proud sons, Paul and Scott, Carole's memory will be held near the hearts of her countless friends and admirers, loving family and church, as well as her precious, cherished grandchildren. Those of us who know her best take comfort knowing that she now may rest. Matthew 25:21 And the Master replied "Well done my good and faithful servant!" Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, at Galbreaith-Pickard Funeral Chapel. Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 11, at North Side Baptist Church located at 901 N. Main St., Weatherford, TX 76086.Interment in Memory Gardens Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials be sent to North Side Baptist Church, attention Cancer Care Support Group.Galbreaith-Pickard Funeral Chapel913 N. Elm, Weatherford, TX 76086(817) 594-2747"

My favorite part of this obituary is the phrase "one and only husband". Ralph and Carole loved each other well with a covenant faithfulness that is a picture of how Christ loves his church.

This will give you an idea of Carole's courage:

Weatherford Democrat - Local survivor gets cancer courage award: "For the past seven years, Carole Willingham has battled inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and aggressive disease. Her gracious nature and willingness to pursue different treatment regimens qualified her for the Faces of Courage Award."

I'm honored to know the Willingham family.

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