James E. Willingham Jr.
January 17, 1921-August 29, 2019
J.E. Willingham Jr. of San Antonio, Texas, passed away Thursday, Aug. 29, after a brief battle with pneumonia and a heart attack. At JE’s request there will be a private burial with only family present. Memories of JE can be shared at https://www.porterloring.com.
JE was born in Uvalde, Texas, to J.E. and Hallie Willingham. He grew up in Sabinal, Texas. After graduating high school, he went to Texas A&M University, where he graduated with a double major in two fields of engineering. Remarkably, he carried 23 hours per semester in order to graduate in four years.
Upon graduation, JE entered the Army and was assigned to field artillery. In World War II, he saw combat in New Guinea, New Briton, and the Philippines. He rose to the position of battery commander by the end of the war.
After WWII, JE was employed by the Humble Oil Company, which later became Exxon. JE served his company with excellence for 35 years, serving in numerous oil patches throughout Texas before being promoted to corporate responsibilities in Houston.
JE was promoted to production manager of all the oil fields in Libya, where he and Martha lived for nine years. He completed his career with Exxon by being placed in charge of over 100 domestic drilling rigs throughout America.
JE married Martha Davenport of Uvalde, Texas, in 1947. She preceded him in death in 2004 after 56 wonderful years of marriage. He married Helen L. Weathers, Martha’s best friend. Helen succumbed to cancer in 2008, after four years of marriage. God was so gracious to send JE a third Godly wife, Ruby. They had nearly 11 years together before his passing.
JE is survived by his son, Jim Willingham and his wife, Elaine; grandsons, Jimmy and Gary Willingham; daughter Kay Chandler and Jim, her husband;
grandsons Kevin and Daniel Chandler.
JE and Martha lived in Uvalde for several years and were faithful members of First Baptist Church. They moved to San Antonio, but their hearts always stayed in Uvalde, Montell, and the Nueces River.
JE will always be remembered by his family and friends as an unfailingly loyal and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He will also be remembered as a shrewd investor who showed great generosity to his church and his family from the fruits of his investments. More importantly, he would say, “The only thing of real and lasting value is belief in our savior Jesus Christ.”
The preceding is a paid obituary.