Former Commissioner, Barbecue Mogul John Willingham Dies

Former Commissioner, Barbecue Mogul John Willingham Dies

Former Shelby County Commissioner and barbecue connoisseur John Willingham died Wednesday of congestive heart failure.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Former Shelby County Commissioner and barbecue connoisseur John Willingham died Wednesday of congestive heart failure.

Willingham, creator of the "Willingham's World Champion Bar-B-Que" brand, served on the county commission from 2002-2006. He was also ran for Shelby County mayor, and twice for Memphis mayor. He and his team also won the Grand Champion title at the Memphis in May International Barbecue Cooking Contest two times.

"Commissioner Willingham faithfully served the citizens of Shelby County. His dedication to our community was evident," said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.

Luttrell added, "Even after his retirement from the Shelby County Commission, he continued to think of new ways to improve the quality of life for citizens and was always a friend to those of us serving in government roles."

John Willingham would have celebrated his 81st birthday on May 19.
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