Ron Willingham, 86, passed away early Tuesday morning, August 6, 2019. He fought cancer with a valiant spirit for six years. A memorial service honoring his life will be Saturday, August 24, 1:00 at Polk Street United Methodist Church, 1401 S. Polk Street in Amarillo.
Born to Ronald Bennett and Juanita Bacon Willingham on December 10, 1932 in rural Collingsworth County, Texas, Ron spent most of his childhood in the Texas panhandle. He graduated high school in Pampa, Texas in 1950 and went on to Abilene Christian University (then College) where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1954.
After entering the training and development field in the mid-1960s, he worked with great thinkers in the human potential field including Dr. Maxwell Maltz and W. Clement Stone. Over the years he expanded his horizons to include sales and customer service training. He was the author of more than twenty training courses that have been conducted in 130 countries with more than 1.5 million graduates. In the early 1980s his Integrity Selling course was the first to combine client-focused, needs-based selling concepts.
In 1989 Ron moved his company, Integrity Systems, to Phoenix. He was the first chairperson of the National Speakers Association's Sales Trainers Group. His Authentic Salesperson course, upon which his book, Authenticity The Head, Heart, and Soul of Selling is based, was launched in 2011. Ron wrote eleven books geared toward sales, customer service, management, and personal development success.
While living in Phoenix he was a member of Scottsdale Bible Church. He lived in Phoenix until early 2019 when he moved to Fort Worth.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents and sister Vondell Mitchell. He is survived by his daughters, Robin Willingham of Perryton, Texas, and Becky Johnson and husband Dave of Adrian, Texas; grandchildren Jonathan Steed of New York City, NY, Benjamin Steed and wife Jennifer of Fort Worth, Elisabeth Johnson of Santa Fe, NM, and Anna-Rebecca Johnson of Adrian, TX; sister Carolyn Hood of Houston, and "adopted" son Ove Johansson and wife April of Amarillo. He delighted in his great-grandchildren Walker and Leah Steed of Fort Worth.
The family requests all memorials be given to: Kids at Hope
Cowden Family Resource Building
850 S. Cady Mall, Suite 227
Tempe, AZ 85281
Published by Amarillo Globe-News from Aug. 18 to Aug. 19, 2019.