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Patricia Ann Gartner
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Mike Willoughby, 77, passed away on March 25, 2022, at the Austin Heart Hospital in Austin, Texas, surrounded by his wife, Kay, and daughters Wendi, Ellen, and Jill. He was born December 2, 1944, in Liberty, Texas, to C.M. Willoughby, Jr. and Jo Ellen (Holt) Willoughby.

Mike graduated from Liberty High School in 1963. Following graduation, Mike went to Texas A&M University to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, Class of 1967. He continued his educational career at Texas State University (formally known as Southwest Texas State University), where he received his Masters of Education in Elementary Education in 1969. Mike and Kay moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi where he was an elementary principal and received his Doctorate in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1974. In 1974, he was offered a job at SWT as an Assistant Professor of education. During his time as SWT, he was an Assistant Professor of Education, Program Director of Elementary Education, Assistant Dean for the School of Education, Associate Professor of Education, Director of Office of Sponsored Projects, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Professor of Education (SWT), Foundation/Corporation Relations (SWT), and the Dean of the Graduate College (31 years) at SWT/Texas State. Mike served a total of 39 years at SWT/Texas State. During Mike’s educational journey, he touched many lives and was awarded many honors.

Mike and Kay met in High School and during the summer of their sophomore year in college, they reconnected and have been inseparable ever since. They were married on January 31, 1966. This year they celebrated their 56th Wedding anniversary. Mike and Kay enjoyed traveling together and playing golf.

Mike enjoyed golfing, fishing, grilling, traveling, and spending time with his family. He was always known for telling funny jokes and stories. He loved going to his grandchildren’s various events and cheering them on.

Mike is preceded by his parents, C.M. Willoughby, Jr., and Jo Ellen (Holt) Willoughby.

Surviving in addition to his wife, Yvonne Kay (Berry) Willoughby, are his three daughters; Wendi Willoughby Norton and husband Bubba of Wimberley, Texas, Ellen Willoughby of Austin, Texas, and Jill Ashby and husband Norm of Georgetown, Texas; four grandchildren, Jack Mostyn Willoughby, Mollie Mostyn Willoughby, Cooper Ashby, and Annie Ashby; two brothers, Gary Willoughby and wife Linda of Liberty, Texas, Pete Willoughby of Houston, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 5-7p.m. Wednesday, March 30 at the Pennington Funeral Home, 323 N. Comanche St., San Marcos, Texas.

A service of remembrance and celebration of life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 31 at the First United Methodist Church, 129 W. Hutchison St., San Marcos, Texas. Following the service, the interment will be at the San Marcos Cemetery. Pallbearers include Tom Brooks, Bob Higgs, David Elliott, James Isbell, Gene Martin, and Chris Berry. Honorary Pallbearers include Dr. Bob Williamson, Dick Roberts, Neal Kinlund, Travis Tucker, Shane Fraser, and Paul Sachitano.

Those who wish to remember Mike in a special way, and in lieu of flowers, may make a monetary gift in his memory to the Aggie ACHIEVE Program at Texas A&M University, and the Dr. J. Michael Willoughby Endowed Scholarship in Graduate Studies at Texas State University.

We would like to give a special thank you to all of the doctors, nurses, LVAD team, and support staff at the Austin Heart Hospital, Austin, Texas. We truly appreciate everything they did for us.