Ken Wingfield passed away February 10, 2017 at the grand age of 90.
Ken was born March 13, 1926 in San Antonio, Texas to Otillia and Henry Wingfield. He was raised by his mother and grandmother in Woodsboro and Alice, Texas, graduating from William Adams High School in Alice where he played varsity football. Ken enlisted in the Navy at age 17, during World War II, attaining Seaman First Class-Aviation Cadet. After military service, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin where he was active in intramural soccer and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
Ken met his wife Jean in 1950 in Comfort, Texas while on a blind double date. They fell in love and married six months later. They lived in Kerrville for two years where they had their daughters, Debra and Pamela. After moving to San Antonio, they welcomed their son, Richard and daughter, Judy to the family. It was here that Ken began his long and successful career in the life and health insurance business.
In 1960, the family moved to El Paso where Ken had the opportunity to manage a sales office for Great American Reserve Life Insurance Company (and to cheer on the historic 1966 Texas Western NCAA Basketball Champions).
At the end of 1966 Ken moved his family to Corpus Christi to work with a wonderful team of insurance professionals. Years later, he branched out to become an independent life and health insurance agent. He earned his CLU, ChFC and LUTCF designations and received numerous other achievements, including top performer for Provident Life & Accident, membership in the Million Dollar Round Table, serving on the National Board of Trustees for the Life Underwriter Training Council, and as an officer of the Corpus Christi Association of Life Underwriters. He represented his profession as a speaker and was named as a Lifetime Member of Southside Rotary Club. Through these professional opportunities, Ken and Jean took many remarkable trips and made many wonderful friends around the country and the world.
His true passions were helping clients find peace of mind that their families would be taken care of – and mentoring new life insurance agents. He spent much of his working day listening to fellow agents who dropped by to get his advice on how to handle a case, or their own business. One of the endeavors he found most satisfying was his years coordinating and moderating local LUTC classes to prepare agents with knowledge and skills for a successful career. His office was the hub for the training books, materials and enrollment.
Two stories especially tell something of Ken’s heart. One of his clients could not afford to pay his life insurance premium and the policy was about to lapse. As his illness would prevent him for re-qualifying again for insurance, Dad loaned him the money to pay the premium. His client died shortly after this, and with the insurance proceeds his wife and children could keep their home and have money for college. The second story is about his commitment to caring for a long-time employee of one of his group health clients. She had no family, so when she was unable to manage her own affairs, Ken became her faithful advocate and go-to person, eventually getting her settled into assisted living, selling her home and possessions, making weekly visits, and, when she died, arranging her funeral service.
Ken knew no strangers and enjoyed getting to know people. His life was always enriched by wonderful friendships. He was an exceptional storyteller. He also appreciated a fine meal, so going to lunch with friends or family was one of the great pleasures of his life. Being of service, playing golf, following football, UT sports, the Spurs, and golf were all high on list of what made life good for Ken.
Ken and Jean celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on December 27, 2016. Together they were a very special couple who found meaning and purpose as parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and as active members of their church communities, especially St. Bartholomew’s in Corpus Christi. At church, Ken served in countless ways with the Bubba Bees men’s group, on vestry, as a lay reader, as an office volunteer, and through Cursillo and Walk to Emmaus retreats and groups. As parents and grandparents, they have been present for us in good times and bad, for big and little celebrations – playing an integral part of our everyday lives. We always felt supported and cherished with grace and love.
Ken is survived by his wife Jean, and their daughters and husbands, Debbie and Rick Dunham, Pam and Malcolm Birdsong, Judy and James Timmons. Ken was also blessed by his three grandchildren, Brenna (and her husband Steve) McGourley, Sam Birdsong, and Jami Timmons, and his three great grandchildren, Abby, Fenway and Katie McGourley. Sadly, both his son Rick Wingfield and his wife, Carol pre-deceased him, as did his parents and many, many dear friends and family.
You are invited to a Celebration of Life and Interment of Ashes service at 4:00 pm on Saturday, February 25th at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 622 Airline, Corpus Christi. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial gift to St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church or to Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP) Corpus Christi, 3104 S. Alameda, Corpus Christi, TX 78404.