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Obituaries

Obituaries

John Robert Willingham Sr, 1919 - 2006 Lawrence

Services for John Robert Willingham Sr., 86, Lawrence, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church. Inurnment will follow in Pioneer Cemetery.Mr. Willingham died Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2006, at his home.He was born July 15, 1919, in Quinlan, Texas, the son of Joe S. and Grace Alice Hurst Willingham. He graduated from high school in Greenville, Texas, in 1936. He attended Wesley College, Southern Methodist University, East Texas State Teachers College, North Texas State Teachers College and George Peabody College for Teachers and received a doctorate from the University of Oklahoma in 1953.Mr. Willingham taught at the Centenary College of Louisiana from 1953 to 1961. He was a professor of English from 1961 until he retired in 1985 at Kansas University, where he taught courses in American literature and literary criticism and served a term as director of freshman-sophomore English. He also directed many of the English department's annual conferences for high school and college teachers and twice led the KU Summer Institute in Britain.He was a visiting professor at Bowling Green State University, University of Toledo and University of Texas. He held offices in the South-Central Modern Language Assn., Modern Language Association of America, Louisiana Folklore Society, College English Assn. and College Entrance Examination Board.Mr. Willingham married Yvonne Buster on Oct. 25, 1942, in Fort Worth, Texas. She died in July 2005.Survivors include a son, John R. Jr., Cape Girardeau, Mo.; a daughter, Amy Willingham Schultz, Lawrence; and six grandchildren. The family suggests memorials to the Lawrence Humane Society, sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. E-mail condolences may be sent to info@warrenmcelwain.com, subject: Willingham.