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Weatherford to lead parade as grand marshal
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Manteca Police Chief for many years and longtime mayor Willie Weatherford has been tapped to lead the Yule time parade through the streets of Manteca this year as its grand marshal. He’ll be joined by State Senator Cathleen Galgiani and San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar.
The line of march is slated to begin on Yosemite Avenue at 6 p.m. and is expected to draw throngs of Mantecans – from the youngest to the oldest – to see Santa make his first appearance in the community. Weatherford will be there with his traditional wave and wink of the eye.
Weatherford served on the city council for six years and was elevated to the seat of the mayor for 12 additional years through scores of agenda items that came before the council.  He first rose through the ranks of the Manteca Police Department from patrolman to sergeant, then captain and finally became the chief of police.  He was later hired by the city of Galt as its police chief and city manager before also becoming an instructor at Delta College.
Weatherford graduated from the FBI National Academy following on the heels of receiving his  bachleor’s degree from California State University in Sacramento.  He also took graduate classes at UOP, the University of Virginia, Humboldt State, Long Beach State, and UC Davis.
He also served four years with the United States Air Force. In addition to serving as district chairman for the Boy Scouts of America, Weatherford was also a club president for the Manteca Kiwanis, as well as for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manteca, Lodi and Galt. He has long served on the United Lutheran Church Council.
He has also served on the Manteca Hall of Fame selection committee and was the recipient of a Hall of Fame honor himself as well as the Northern California Senior Softball Hall of Fame recognition.
Weatherford lost the love of his life, Sherilyn recently to a long illness.  They had two daughters Dawnis Villegas and Dayna Tinnin along with five grandchildren, Casey Tinnin, Kayla Tinnin, Raymond Tinnin, Joshua Villegas and Jesika Villegas and a great grandson Wesley – most of who will be cheering for him along the parade route.