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WILLINGHAM, JOE DENNIS  
JOE DENNIS WILLINNGHAM June 15, 1943 - Apr. 23, 2015 After a two and a half year battle with pancreatic cancer, Joe Dennis Willingham passed away on April 23, 2015, in El Centro, CA. at the age of 71. The fourth of seven children, Joe was born on June 15, 1943 to John and Gladys Willingham in San Diego, CA. They lived in San Diego during World War II while his father worked in an airplane factory and served a tour of duty. Due to his mother's asthma the family moved to Brawley after the war. Joe attended Ruth Reid Elementary School, Barbara Worth Jr. High and Brawley High School, with a few brief moves to the White Mountain Indian Reservation in McNary, AZ and National City, CA. He was very active in sports during high school lettering in basketball and football and actively participated in the local boxing club. He married his high school sweetheart, Scarlett Keele, in 1962 and they had three children, Peyton Jo, Craig, and Jason. Upon completion of high school Joe attended San Diego State University where he obtained a BA in social studies and his teaching credential. While teaching he traveled to Idaho during the summers where he completed his Masters' Degree from University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. He was a successful high school teacher and coach for four years at Central High School and transferred to Brawley High School where he spent the remaining 35 years of his career. He enjoyed his students and coaching varsity sports. He served as the Brawley Teachers' Union President for many years. He loved his summers in Idaho with his family and friends enjoying camping, fishing, bicycling and relaxing. He was a catalyst for developing close friendships and soon had a number of El Centro friends and family enjoying summers in Idaho with him. He also loved snow skiing and trips to San Felipe with friends known as BNO. Upon retiring he enjoyed his time in Washington where he had a RV Condo. His love of the outdoors and all things sporting will live on in us all. Joe and his wife, Scarlett, loved entertaining at their home in El Centro. Many happy parties and special occasions were celebrated at the Willingham home. Recently in March he insisted on having family and friends to celebrate his father's 97th birthday. His son, Jason and wife Oriana blessed Joe with two grandchildren, John Bradford (Ford) and Anderson Booker. They gave him some wonderful memories and even though ill, he was able to spend his last summer in Idaho, camping and fishing with his grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Craig and his mother, Gladys; siblings, Patsy (Mike), Phillip; brother-in-law, Homer Edmonson and sister-in-law, Rosemarie Matthews. He is survived by his wife, Scarlett; daughter, Peyton Jo of El Cajon; son, Jason (Oriana); grandsons, John Bradford (Ford) and Anderson Booker of Santa Cruz, CA.; father, John Booker Willingham (Papa John) of Brawley; sister, Patricia Edmondson of Santee; brother, Doug (Lana) Willingham of San Diego; sister, Martha Willingham of Brawley and brother, Robert (Liz) of Brawley; sisters-in-law, Deanie Johnson of Imperial, Alice (Sonny) Gaytan of Halfway, OR and many nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 312 S. 8th St., El Centro, on May 9th at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Joe Willingham (Coach Willingham) Memorial Weight Room, Billy Brewer Athletic Director, Brawley Union High School, Brawley, CA 92227.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on May 3, 2015
WILLINNGHAM, JOE DENNIS  
JOE DENNIS WILLINNGHAM June 15, 1943 - Apr. 23, 2015 After a two and a half year battle with pancreatic cancer, Joe Dennis Willingham passed away on April 23, 2015, in El Centro, CA. at the age of 71. The fourth of seven children, Joe was born on June 15, 1943 to John and Gladys Willingham in San Diego, CA. They lived in San Diego during World War II while his father worked in an airplane factory and served a tour of duty. Due to his mother's asthma the family moved to Brawley after the war. Joe attended Ruth Reid Elementary School, Barbara Worth Jr. High and Brawley High School, with a few brief moves to the White Mountain Indian Reservation in McNary, AZ and National City, CA. He was very active in sports during high school lettering in basketball and football and actively participated in the local boxing club. He married his high school sweetheart, Scarlett Keele, in 1962 and they had three children, Peyton Jo, Craig, and Jason. Upon completion of high school Joe attended San Diego State University where he obtained a BA in social studies and his teaching credential. While teaching he traveled to Idaho during the summers where he completed his Masters' Degree from University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. He was a successful high school teacher and coach for four years at Central High School and transferred to Brawley High School where he spent the remaining 35 years of his career. He enjoyed his students and coaching varsity sports. He served as the Brawley Teachers' Union President for many years. He loved his summers in Idaho with his family and friends enjoying camping, fishing, bicycling and relaxing. He was a catalyst for developing close friendships and soon had a number of El Centro friends and family enjoying summers in Idaho with him. He also loved snow skiing and trips to San Felipe with friends known as BNO. Upon retiring he enjoyed his time in Washington where he had a RV Condo. His love of the outdoors and all things sporting will live on in us all. Joe and his wife, Scarlett, loved entertaining at their home in El Centro. Many happy parties and special occasions were celebrated at the Willingham home. Recently in March he insisted on having family and friends to celebrate his father's 97th birthday. His son, Jason and wife Oriana blessed Joe with two grandchildren, John Bradford (Ford) and Anderson Booker. They gave him some wonderful memories and even though ill, he was able to spend his last summer in Idaho, camping and fishing with his grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Craig and his mother, Gladys; siblings, Patsy (Mike), Phillip; brother-in-law, Homer Edmonson and sister-in-law, Rosemarie Matthews. He is survived by his wife, Scarlett; daughter, Peyton Jo of El Cajon; son, Jason (Oriana); grandsons, John Bradford (Ford) and Anderson Booker of Santa Cruz, CA.; father, John Booker Willingham (Papa John) of Brawley; sister, Patricia Edmondson of Santee; brother, Doug (Lana) Willingham of San Diego; sister, Martha Willingham of Brawley and brother, Robert (Liz) of Brawley; sisters-in-law, Deanie Johnson of Imperial, Alice (Sonny) Gaytan of Halfway, OR and many nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 312 S. 8th St., El Centro, on May 9th at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Joe Willingham (Coach Willingham) Memorial Weight Room, Billy Brewer Athletic Director, Brawley Union High School, Brawley, CA 92227.
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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on May 2, 2015
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