Garlin Lynn "Red" Willingham
October 2, 1952  -  May 17, 2019

Garlin Lynn "Red" Willingham


Memorial Service
Church of God
901 S. 20th Street
Artesia, NM  88210
Saturday, May 25, 2019
2:00 p.m.
Map & Directions  Map & Directions


I served in the Navy.

Memorial service is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 25th at the Church of God, 901 S 20th St. for Garlin "Red" Lynn Willingham of Artesia, New Mexico.

Mr. Willingham, 66, died May 17, 2019 at his home in Artesia.

Kevin Smith, nephew of Red, will officiate at the services. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Terpening & Son Mortuary.

Red was born October 2, 1952 in Big Springs, TX, the son of John Briscoe and Jo (Thompson) Briscoe. He was a longtime Artesia resident after moving here when he was a little boy. An interest in learning how things worked and reading science fiction and fantasy stayed with him through adulthood.

Red served his country in the United States Navy from 1972 to 1978 specializing in base and road construction and equipment repair. On October 15, 1976 he was married to Deborah Merritt in Ft. Sumner, N.M. Following his years in military service, Red pursued his passion and talent for auto repair and became a professional gasoline and diesel mechanic. His engine diagnosis skills, quality of repair and fairness in all dealings earned him an exceptional reputation as a mechanic, and a person, that he followed him throughout his days.

He was successful in almost every interest and endeavor, from building and flying model airplanes from scratch, computer assembly/repair, to tuning and drag racing his 68 Nova. While being a mechanic for the Navajo trucking division, he was promoted to assistant supervisor over trucking where he humbly excelled. He was most successful in caring for and raising his family, which he always worked so hard for. A helping hand, a kind word, sage advice, or a clever, dry joke at your expense were not very far away. He loved to laugh and cut-up, but was never afraid of a tough conversation and tended not to sweat the small stuff.

Even after his injury left him less capable, he still retained all of his personality and vigor for life. He pursued photography for years, electronic and circuit analysis, high-powered air rifles and even practiced algebra and trigonometry. He never focused on what he couldn't do, just what he thought was possible. He loved doing it all in the company of his sons and other family.

Red's character, attitude, intelligence, generosity, sense of humor, humility, and above all, love for his closest friends and family have made him a treasure in all of our hearts and minds. He left such an impact on all those that truly knew him, that we will all be forever grateful for having the privilege of knowing him. He was a loving son, brother, husband, father, cousin, uncle and friend who lived the principles of honesty, integrity, loyalty and strength that many preach and few live. We bring honor to him by working hard, improving ourselves, overcoming obstacles, and cherishing those close to us.

Red was preceded in death by his mother, Jo Briscoe, father, John Briscoe, and nephew, Lance Eaker, niece Leslie Ann Kenyon, and mother and father in-law, Peggy and Neuman Merritt.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah Willingham, sons, Devlin and Ty Willingham, sisters, Bonnie Hutchison, Rita Briscoe, Jenny Bias, brother in-law, John Bias, and cousins,

Condolences(9)

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  1. Bobbie Parrish Ranspot
    Cameron, TX

    To Red’s family: Even though I have not seen Red in many years I considered him a close friend. When we talked via computer several years ago it was the same as when we talked and picked on each other in the Park Jr High library. Our birthdays were close. My heart goes out to you because I know what a good, kind person you lost. Our prayers are with all of you.

  2. Bill Crismon
    Aurora, CO

    I attended Grade School with Red at Grand Heights Elementary School and Junior High at Park Junior High. in Artesia...We were Buds until I moved away in my Sophomore year in Artesia...The last time I saw Red was in 1997 taking my family to Carlsbad Caverns...We kept in touch on and off throughout the years...He will be sorely missed...I will see him again because Life is eternal...

  3. Bobbie Parrish Ranspot
    Cameron, TX

    To Red’s family: Even though I have not seen Red in many years I considered him a close friend. When we talked via computer several years ago it was the same as when we talked and picked on each other in the Park Jr High library. Our birthdays were close. My heart goes out to you because I know what a good, kind person you lost. Our prayers are with all of you.

  4. Betty Maupin
    Artesia, NM

    Deepest condolences upon the passing of Red. I am thankful our Heavenly Father blessed me with being Red’s cousin. So many happy memories of such such a gentle, kind man. Rest In Peace, dear Red.

  5. Mony Fuller
    Artesia, NM

    May peace be with the family in time of need i went to school with his sister and was good friends with Bonnie,Rita and Jenny my deepest condolences to each of you and his wife

  6. Connie Mauldin Baker
    Roswell, NM

    Prayers for the entire family! I went to school with Garlin at Grand Heights in the 4th grade and then later in junior high and high school. I thought a lot of him and am very sorry for your loss!

  7. Jerry Ransbarger
    Las cruces, NM

    My memories of Red will always be with me.The most honest hard working man I've ever known. You will be missed my friend. Rest in peace sir.

  8. Greg & Sandy Pierson
    Hereford, TX

    Garlin had unbelievable strength in character, mind, and body after his accident. We've never known a person so willing to keep living life to the fullest possible even when his body challenged his every movement. Debbie, I'm sure this is heartbreaking for you and the boys. But Garlin is now in Heaven, probably racing his car from cloud to cloud.

  9. Rusty & Amanda Kenyon
    Fort Sumner, NM

    We are so very sorry to hear of the passing of Uncle Red. What a kind, loving, funny soul he was. You all will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

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