Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Russell Mark Willingham, Jr.

Winston-Salem Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Saturday, July 30, 2011

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Reflections for Police Officer Russell Mark Willingham, Jr.

John 5:28, 29 - "Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out". I pray that everyone can find peace in knowing that we will see this officer as well as many others again in Paradise soon. Until then, please accept my condolences.

A.W. Montgomery
Concerned Citizen

September 18, 2018


You were a former Massachusetts guy and starting on the same day at the Winston-Salem Police Department as I did? My, we do have quite a bit in common. I absolutely loved our short time together and I hope you were able to spot me on YOUR DAY to send you off brother. I would not have missed that for anything. I hope your beautiful WIFE or fabulous MOTHER will see this reflection and contact me if they can (Linked-In). You were an inspiration to so many folks my friend including me. I hope you are smiling down on us knowing that you really did make a huge difference while you were here. I enjoyed our time together and especially enjoyed your wisdom and quick wit.

I truly miss you my brother.

Police Chief (Ret.) Darryll DeCotis
Bolton Police Department

March 19, 2013

Russell Mark,

This is our second Christmas without you and the sadness we all feel can overwhelm us sometimes. We all miss you and love you. We will never forget you. My heart breaks with the thought that you are not here with us, but you have earned you rest in the arms of our Lord.

I cope day to day with your loss, and will for the rest of my life. You were so inspirational to your brothers and sister. They are grieving hard still but they will get through. We celebrate your life by remembering all the times we had together and how quirky you could be.

I love you my son, rest in peace knowing our love keeps your memory alive.

Karen Willingham
Your Mother

November 29, 2012

Its hard to believe its been a year sense you made the ultimate sacrifice. Continue to "Rest In Peace" brother. 87th PBIC

POII DL Farrish

August 1, 2012

Thinking of you and all of your loved ones and close friends today. Continue to keep watch over all of them, protect them. You will never be forgotten as true heroes never die.

"Loved with a love beyond all feeling,
Missed with a grief beyond all tears."

Bob Gordon
Dep. Chief, Ret. Father of Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

July 30, 2012

Dear Russ,
We think of you often, and your "brothers in blue" here at Milford Regional are keeping your memory alive. You were such a sweet, kind, dedicated officer and a true asset to the staff and patients alike, and you are missed by so many. Rest easy, Russ.

Cindy Guerin MRMC maternity secretary
Milford Regional Medical Center, Milford MA

March 8, 2012


James Kotke
Civilian / Former Officer
WSF Park Police (Wi.)

February 24, 2012

To the family and friends of Officer Russell Willingham, his fellow officers, and most especially to Russell:

We honor your service to your community as a law enforcement officer. You will always be remembered and revered. Rest in Peace.

On behalf of our entire family, I wish to extend our sincerest condolences on the grievous loss you suffered when Russell was killed in the line of duty. It is obvious he was well-loved by many and well-respected by his peers as reflected in the loving reflections left for him.

May his loved ones continued to be supported by their law enforcement family and other police survivors. Our family grieves with you and for you. To Russell's family, you are in my heart's embrace today. I share your anquish in losing a beloved family member which surely has to be life's greatest sorrow.

This was your family's first Christmas without you. They are all in my thoughts and prayers during these difficult days.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the distinquished service Russell gave to his community and the citizens of North Carolina, and the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on July 30, 2011.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

December 28, 2011

I come to the ODMP often to remember my late fiance Dennis. Every time I come here it breaks my heart to know that yet another officer has fallen and that yet another family has to live their lives without the officer they loved. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved Officer Willingham. Know that you are not alone in the "journey" that you walk. Should you ever need anything please don't hesitate to contact me. (The Davis Co. Sheriff's Office in Iowa will always know how to reach me. I can also be found on Face Book.) You will be in my thoughts.

From reading the reflections left for Russell he sounds like he was a great man with a beautiful spirit. Those of you who knew him in life were so blessed to have been able to share in it. I hope that you will all continue to find a way to celebrate and remember Russell's life and the MAN that he was. Remember that Russell's life was about so much more than the way he died. Russell will continue to live on as long as we continue to remember him.

Officer Willingham, thank you for helping to make this world a little safer for us all. YOU will not be forgotten. Please continue to watch over all of us as only you can. If you happen to bump into my late fiance Dennis up there give him a big hug for me and the kids. It's been eight & a half years and he's still very much missed and forever loved.

Wishing you brighter and better days,

Jocelyne :)

"Forever Remembering 26-3"

Jocelyne Brar (Winnipeg, MB Canada)
Fiancee of Deputy Dennis R. McElderry (EOW: 01/03/03)

December 7, 2011

I never met Officer Willingham but that doesn't matter. What matters is that an officer who served my city tragically lost his life at an early age. My fiancé is an officer and every time he goes to work I know the sacrifice he is making. It saddens me to know that the family members of this officer received a call that no family member of an officer wants to receive. I'm praying for the ones he left behind.

Nurse, Jackee
Future wife of a WSPD officer

September 29, 2011

Rest in peace, sir. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones.

Greater love hath no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Friend of
USFS Off. Kris Fairbanks RIP 9/20/08

September 18, 2011

I would like to send my warmest regards and deepest condolences to the family, friends and Department of Officer Russell Willingham. I worked with Russ at the Milford Regional Medical Center as a Security Officer for almost two years. He was very passionate about his profession. I am glad that he was able to finally achieve his goal of becoming a Police Officer. He was a kind soul that was taken well before his time. You left a great impression on me and you will not be forgotten. Rest in peace my brother officer and friend.

Sgt Stephen Sinko
Millville, MA Police Department

September 6, 2011

Officer Willingham,
Sir, I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Winston-Salem. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.



September 5, 2011

Rest in Peace Russ. You will be missed.

Cpl. T. L. Fulk
Greensboro Police Department

August 12, 2011

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and co-workers of this brave officer. Rest in Peace.

Sheriff Ray Foster
Buchanan County Sheriffs Office

August 11, 2011

His Judgment Day:
The officer stood and faced his God, Which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shinning, Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, Officer, How shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek To my church have you been true?"
The officer squared his shoulder and said, "No, Lord, I guess I aint, Because those of us who carry badges can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays, And at times my talk was rough, And sometimes I've been violent Because the streets are tough.
But I never took a penny That wasn't mine to keep.. Though I worked a lot of overtime, when the bills got too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help Though at times I shook with fear. And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept an unmanly tear.
I know I don't deserve a place among the people here. They never wanted me around except to calm their fear.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, it needn't be so grand. I never expected or had too much, But if you don't...I'll understand.
There was silence all around the throne, where the saints often trod. As the officer waited quietly for the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, Officer. You've borne your burdens well. Come walk a beat on heaven's streets, You've done your time in hell"

Author unknown

May God be with everyone

Plano PD Plano, TX

August 9, 2011

I never had the pleasure of meeting Officer Willingham, however, I would like to say that I am truly saddened by this tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved. Life is fragile and I hope people realize the hardwork that Police Officers do. They put their lives on the line every day in order to keep us safe. I am extremely grateful for that. Thank you for your service to the community Officer Willingham. May your story live on and inspire others to do great things! Rest in peace.

Carolyn Engasser (Buffalo, NY)
Sister of Police Officer David A. Sojka (Winston-Salem PD)

August 8, 2011

I worked with Russ for a short time at the MRMC. He was extremely driven in his duties as a Security Officer, as well as his dream of expanding further into the law enforcement arena.

Russ was always professional, respectful, and humble. As with the entire Security Staff I worked with, I knew I could always count on him being one of the first to respond if I needed assistance. Russ's smile was contagious, and his passion to help people was reflective in the work he did, and the lives he touched.

I am so saddened that his dreams and life was cut short; but it wasn't a surprise to learn that Russ's last call was that of responding to aid a fellow human being.

RIP Russ. I didn't know you for very long, but you made left an impression.

My condolences to his MRMC family, his brothers and sisters at the Greensboro and Winston-Salem PD's, his wife Courtney, family, and friends.

K. Villani
Milford Regional Medical Center (Former Co-Worker)

August 5, 2011

God Bless you Officer Willingham and thank you sir for your service. My prayers are with your family and friends and the entire Winston-Salem PD and Greensboro PD during this difficult time. You will never be forgotten.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

August 5, 2011

The news of the tragic death of Russ filtered through the hospital ( Milford Regional Medical Center, Milford Ma.) with great sorrow. Prior to Russ becoming a police officer( one of his main goals) he worked at MRMC as a security officer. The nature of this job intwined patient and staff safety. On the job, Russ was quiet,dedicated, humorous, and always respectful of patients and nurses. He worked well with both,he was able to intervene in a perfect way.
Although Russ moved south to be with family and join new family, he had forever Friends in Ma, and these friends and co-workers grieve hard, for a fallen friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family.
Although I am not a officer, I can assure you that Emergency nurses, and officers share many crisis, and hold high regards and respect for eachother. Russ I do for you.

Thank you to the Police brotherhood who honor Russ and payed tribute to him at his memorial service and funeral, he would have been so honored.

Diane Hill RN, Emergency Department Milford Regional Medical Center

Diane Hill RN
Milford Regional Medical Center,Milford, Ma. coworker

August 5, 2011

Russ, go rest high on that have earned your place in Heaven. My God receive you with open arms, and comfort your wife, surviving family, and all of us in blue who mourn you. I am sure you looked down and saw today at your funeral and have a hell of a fan club! Rest in Peace my brother, and hold the door for me when I get up there!

SPO Jamie Fulton
Greensboro PD

August 4, 2011

When I look back on our academy class, I never dreamed that I would be writing this for you. I was shocked to hear the news of your crash and words can't come to me to describe how I feel. I will continue to carry all the good memories of you and what you stood for. You were a great man, a hero, and a brother to us all. It was an honor to serve in the fight of good vs evil by your side, and I will continue to pray for your family and the Winston Salem Police.

God Bless

Police Officer II MB Johnson
Greensboro Police

August 4, 2011

My thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Willingham's family and also to the WSPD. Rest in peace.

Phyllis Motsinger
NC Citizen

August 4, 2011

Rest In Peace Russ! I miss ya buddy! So sorry this happened!

Officer Trevor watson
Winston Salem Police Department

August 4, 2011

May you rest in peace my brother as you did Gods's work and completed his task you fullfilled. God Speed.

Ofc. Gregory W. Bailey
Greensboro Police Dept

August 3, 2011

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