Vale Artie Willmington
Artie Willmington 14th October 1929 – 1st October 2020
On the 1st of October, Luddenham lost its longest living resident. A man that was respected by everyone in the community, Arthur Ernest Willmington. ‘Artie’ was born in Penrith and lived all his life in Luddenham. Growing up on the family farm and living in the Post Office residence, Artie was one of nine children.
From the age of six, Artie started working on the farm. He would get up early before school to help milk the cows and would help after school. Artie loved to grow things and was a keen sportsman. He especially enjoyed cricket and tennis, as well as being a Panthers supporter from day one. He also followed the weather and was the go-to person to find the upcoming conditions.
In the mid 1950’s, Artie started working at Edwards Bakery in Penrith where he meant Jean Edwards and they were married in 1957. They were happily married for 63 Years and Jean would often say “it’s not long enough”. Edwards Bakery, in later years, was sold to Fielders Bakery and Artie would go on to be one of their Supervisors. He loved the early starts.
When Artie retired, he started growing roses. He would go around pruning resident’s roses, and using his secret solution, he would strike, pot, and then sell them with all the profits going to the NSW Cancer Council. Artie and wife Jean started the Luddenham Cuppa for Cancer. The NSW Cancer Council confirmed that their sales of roses and cuppas had raised a massive $406,955.80 for them!
Artie was also a great community leader, spending 50 plus years on the executive committee of the Luddenham Progress Association. He was part of the Luddenham Uniting Church as well as being a member of the Luddenham Show Society.
Early in September, Artie was diagnosed with bladder cancer and went in for surgery to have it removed. He came home and on the 1st of October and was taken back to hospital shortly as he was having trouble breathing. Later in the day, Artie suffered a heart attack and sadly passed away.