Wendell Eugene Winters was born in Galesburg, Iowa, on Jan. 27, 1927, the only son of Ollie Sigler and Sarah Etta (Mudgett) Winters. He spent his early years in the Galesburg area and later the family moved to Knoxville. It was then that he would meet the love of his life, Jerri Jerkins. Wendell and Jerri started dating and at the age of 16, Wendell began working for the Maytag Company in Newton. At the age of 17, and with the special consent of his father, Wendell enlisted in the Navy and served from 1944 – 46 on the USS Bougainville Aircraft Carrier in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. On June 26, 1946, Wendell and Jerri were united in marriage at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Knoxville. To this union, four children were born – Wendy, Teresa, John and Mike. Wendell worked at Maytag as a Supervisor for 46 years, retiring in 1989. While working at Maytag, Wendell took classes and attained his G.E.D. diploma. Shortly after his retirement, Wendell realized he just wasn’t ready to quit working. He then went to work transporting veterans from the VA Hospital in Knoxville to their appointments in Iowa City, Des Moines and elsewhere. He felt strongly that each veteran should be treated with the utmost respect. He was a proud veteran himself and felt honored to be of assistance to his fellow man. Wendell’s work ethic was impeccable. He never missed work and never complained about his jobs. He was grateful to have a job and worked hard to provide for his family. Wendell’s life revolved around his wife and family. He was so proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed attending their sporting/school events and enjoyed telling anyone willing to listen, just how great his family was!!! It was not uncommon for him to drop everything to help his family whether they had a leaky pipe, flat tire, dead battery or needed a ride to work or school. He was an avid Hawkeye fan and also became a Cyclone fan after two of his grandchildren graduated from ISU. He will be remembered as a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Wendell passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, at Brooklyn Community Estates in Brooklyn, at the age of 89 years, 20 days. He will be greatly missed by his children, Wendy Pettyjohn of Knoxville, Teresa (Darrell Meeks) Lucas of Belle Plaine, Iowa, John (Risa) Winters of Columbia, Ill., and Mike Winters of Knoxville; his eight grandchildren, Katie (John) Bedford of Sheffield, England, Aaron (Jessica) Pettyjohn of Pella, Adam Lucas of Knoxville, Jeffrey Lucas of West Des Moines, Kurt (Shelby) Lucas of Knoxville, Kyle (Melanie McGruther) Winters of Ballwin, Mo., Brian Winters of St. Louis, Mo. and Nathan Winters of Knoxville; his five great-grandchildren, Luke and Jack Pettyjohn, William and Eleanor Bedford, and Nora Lucas of Knoxville; one sister-in-law, Betty Jerkins of Knoxville and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 67+ years, Jerri, his parents, two sisters Luella Jane Middleton and Wynona “Nonie” Meloy, and 5 brothers-in-law, Edward Jerkins, Ray Jerkins, Bill Jerkins, Fred Middleton and Marvin Meloy. Funeral services for Wendell began at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church of Knoxville. Prior to services Wendell’s family greeted friends from 9:30 a.m. until service time. A private family burial will be held at a later date. A memorial in Wendell’s memory has been established for funeral expenses and may be given to Wendell’s family. The Winfield Funeral Home of Knoxville is assisting with services.
Published on  February 26, 2016