Sunday, 07 August 2022

Michael Willingham

Michael Willingham. Courtesy photo.

Michael Brian Willingham
Feb. 21, 1954 — Jan. 27, 2022

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Michael Brian Willingham of Lakeport passed peacefully in his home Jan. 27, 2022.

As he goes to join all those that passed before him in heavenly glory he leaves behind his mother, Roberta Christensen; his two sisters, Linda Moyers and Lori Wagner; his two children, Marcie Willingham-Burke and Ian Willingham; and his five grandchildren, Kayla, Cobe, Bailey, Iryss and Archer.

Michael was born in San Francisco, California, to Daryl and Roberta Willingham.

While he grew into a young man, he developed a close bond with his cousin Richard Lenormand; they would remain very close throughout his whole life.

Michael excelled in sports at Serra High School, playing football, basketball and baseball. Wearing an old pair of Converse, he broke the state high jump record his first time trying it, which made newspaper headlines at the time.

After high school he worked in the San Francisco nightclub scene as a bouncer briefly before joining the US Air Force and becoming a crew chief.

It was while stationed in England that Michael would find his true calling by giving his heart to Christ.

He also met Ruth Grant, with whom he would marry and have his two children.

After his service to the country in the Air Force, Michael attended Trinity Bible College where he would become an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. He worked as a youth pastor at Trinity Church sharing his love of Christ and developing his gifts as a minister.

It was then that Michael felt called back to England. Following the Lord’s leading, he packed up his family and set off. While times were not easy for him in England, a light was cultivated inside him there that would shine brightly for the rest of his days.

Upon returning to the United States Michael would take the role of pastor, leading the congregation at Lakeport Christian Center. Over his time there he was instrumental in bringing many souls to Christ by sharing his love for Jesus and the bibles teachings with countless people.

After his time in Lakeport he moved to San Diego. He took a job as a lot manager at Encinitas Ford and quickly excelled to a top performer at the dealership.

It was during this time that he was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the throat. Undeterred by this diagnosis, Michael would go on to beat the bleakest odds, coupled with a divorce, and survive.

Michael would return to Lakeport with Richard Lenormand where he would continue to minister until his passing.

It’s impossible to overstate the impact Michael Willingham had on this world through his ministry, generosity and kindness. All who knew him loved him and had a great story with him. He will be deeply missed.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, at Lakeport Christian Center, 455 S. Forbes St., and at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 18, at the National Cemetery of Sacramento, 5810 Midway Road in Dixon.

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