H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel

173 Allen Road Ne, Sandy Springs, GA


Thomas Marion Willingham II

January 18, 1937January 11, 2020

“Killer” has gone to be with Jesus. Thomas Marion Willingham II is present with the Lord after a wonderful life of almost 83 years. If you are from Georgia and particularly his home of Atlanta you probably knew Tom as “Killer”. A term of endearment given him by his golfing buddies after he graduated from the University of Georgia. However, he went by many other names. He was born to Winburn Bibb and Lynda Lowe Willingham on January 18, 1937 in Macon, GA. He is survived by his sister Sally Hawkins. Growing up in Macon he was known as Marion. After graduating high school from Darlington in Rome, Marion became “Tom –don’t call me Marion” and would eventually make his way to Athens. There he would meet the love of his life Lila Jean Cruikshank. Shortly after college they were married and soon Tom became known as dad. They were married for 39 years before Lila Jean preceded him in death on Christmas Eve 2001. They are survived by their 4 children and their spouses. Win (Johanna), Tom (Beth), Lila Magbee (Russell), and Beth Williams (Ridley). He would go on to be called boss by many as he was responsible for several successful businesses, most notably I.D.I. which supplied all the products to fast food restaurants such as Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, KFC, Popeye’s and may others. At one time I.D.I. was the largest employer in a growing Gwinnett County. Tom’s proudest achievement and joy came from earning the name “granddad” or “Doodad” by his grandchildren. He is survived by his grandson Thomas and 7 granddaughters, Austin, Barbara Jean, Sarah, Lily, Elizabeth, Jean, and Sophie. But whatever you called Tom Willingham, everyone knew him as a true Southern Gentleman and a man of great integrity, who treated everyone with respect and dignity. A true “clotheshorse,” Killer could be found most Saturdays playing golf on one of his home courses of Capital City, Pablo Creek, or Ponte Vedra Club. If he wasn’t playing golf, he loved to fish and was a member of the Homosassa Fishing Club. On Sundays he could always be found on the front pew of St. John United Methodist Church, where he was a devout member for over 50 years. A celebration of “Killer’s” life will be held on his birthday, Saturday January 18 at 11:00 am at his church located at 550 Mt. Paran Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30327. A reception will follow at Capital City Club in Brookhaven. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. John United Methodist Church or Metro Atlanta Recovery Residence (MARR).


  • They are survived by their 4 children and their spouses. Win (Johanna), Tom (Beth), Lila Magbee (Russell), and Beth Williams (Ridley).


  • Memorial Service Saturday, January 18, 2020


Thomas Marion Willingham II

have a memory or condolence to add?

Wade Hudson

January 17, 2020

Prayers to all the Willingham family! A great man and life lived- now reunited with Ms. Lila :-).

Nancy Crute

January 16, 2020

So glad to have had a chance to have Mr. Doodad in my life. He was a sweet soul.

Jerry Bishop

January 15, 2020

So sorry to hear about Toms passing. I was introduced to Tom in 1987 and was so impressed with his integrity and high standards in the distribution business, This meeting resulted in my business becoming a small part of Toms growing conglomerate, My deepest sympathy to the Willingham family.
Jerry and Jane bishop. Roswell, ga