Dr. Welborn Kiefer Willingham, 78, of Salado, Texas, died Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007, after a brief illness.
Willingham, known as “Will” by his many friends, patients and colleagues, was born March 12, 1928, in Fisher County, Texas. He was the son of W.B. Willingham and Madge Eason Willingham.
A 1949 graduate of Texas Tech University, Willingham received a Masters degree at The University of Texas and a Ph.D. at Tech. As an undergraduate, Willingham was sophomore class president, a member of and first pledge trainer of Saddle Tramps, Tech’s spirit organization, and a member of Socii Fraternity which later became Sigma Nu.
After a brief stint as an officer in the United States Air Force, from which he retired in later years as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Reserves, Willingham spent most of his working life in academia. He was a professor in the Department of Education at Texas Tech, an adjunct professor at Tech’s medical school, and retired with the distinction of Professor Emeritus.
A practicing psychologist, Willingham founded a counseling center in Lubbock. He was an active member of the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology, in which organization he was a delegate and leader for many years. He founded that association’s Graduate Student Forum and served as its director, encouraging many young people in the profession.
In recent years Willingham enjoyed his retirement, while overseeing his ranching interests in Fisher and Scurry Counties.
On Aug. 14, 1950, he married a Lubbock native, Maxine McCollum, following a campus romance. After his Air Force tour of duty, University of Texas studies and a brief period in Hale Center, as the youngest school principal in the state at that time, they made their home in Lubbock, where they raised their family.
In 2006, they relocated to Salado, where they had built a vacation home. Willingham’s ancestors were early settlers in Salado.
Will is survived by his wife of 56 years, Maxine; his three children: Sharon Willingham Harris of Garland, Dr. Douglas B. Willingham of Salado, and Sheila Willingham McBeth of Sarasota, Florida. He is also survived by six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Private graveside services were held Jan. 15, 2007 at the Willingham Cemetery in Salado, officiated by the Rev. Thomas A. Wallace, Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Belton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to one’s charity of choice.