Adolph was born in Milwaukee on May 2, 1916. His parents were Adolph Winter, Sr. and Amalia (nee Goetter), whose other children were Orville, Dolores, and Carole. His mother’s ancestors migrated from Germany, and in 1848 established the farm that still exists in the Town of Cedarburg, Wisconsin today. His father was a steamfitter in Milwaukee. Adolph Jr. graduated from North Division High School, and while in high school was a state junior champion and a city active men’s champion gymnast with the Milwaukee Turners. He attended Normal College in Indianapolis, and became the first in his family to graduate from high school and from college. He moved to Chicago after graduation, and there married, in December 1940, his college sweetheart, Dorothea Holoubek, who also was the first in her family to graduate from high school and college. He taught gymnastics in Chicago and became a lifelong active member of the Turners.
Adolph and Dorothea had four children, Clyde, Glenn, Lois, and Michael. Adolph switched careers from teaching physical education to engineering and machining tool steels. They built a home in Skokie, Illinois and moved there in 1951. In his mid-forties, Adolph went into partnership with a friend, and together, for the rest of their working lives, they built and operated Sedwall Mfg. Co., a machine shop that continues in operation today. Adolph was a hard worker and a smart businessman with honesty and integrity, willing to take on the stiffest challenge or competition. Fifteen years later, Adolph and two friends acquired the historic family farm in Cedarburg. Adolph and Dorothea enjoyed vacations together, traveling through North and South America and Europe.
Dorothea died in 1988, and Adolph turned the machine shop business over to his youngest son. Adolph commuted weekly between Wisconsin and his new home (bought with his youngest son and family, in Wheaton, Illinois) and part-time semi-retirement at the shop). He enjoyed working at the shop, doing farm maintenance, socializing, playing cards, square dancing and singing, travel adventures across North America, and the warm, hearty companionship of many friends and extended family, including the family and friends of his new sweetheart, Virginia Nicholas. In his 90’s, Adolph became unable to drive, and Virginia died in 2010.
Adolph’s weekly commute ended and in 2012, when he was no longer able to live at his home in Wheaton, he began semi-annual trips between the farm in Wisconsin and the home of his physician son and wife, in New Orleans. So he continued living with members of his family, while celebrating Pioneer Days and Oktoberfest in Ozaukee County, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and other holiday and special events with all his children and grandchildren and extended family, highlighted by daily phone calls from his daughter and the especially valued company of Margaret Schille. Adolph died in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, at age 98, on January 21, 2015, after a tough hospital struggle, which began on New Years Eve.
Adolph lived longer than most of his contemporaries, but this was a bitter and increasingly lonely achievement for him, as he loved family and friends – too numerous to individually enumerate – and their company, more than anything else in life. He was the always sober, yet fun-loving, life of any party, with an unforgettably broad, beaming, genuine smile. Virtually everyone fortunate enough to know him well, respected and loved Adolph, and enjoyed his company. That may be because he was always of good humor, and basically treated everyone with respect, regardless of his or her status or station in society. He set a fine example.
A memorial service will be held at the DuPage Unitarian Universalist church 1828 Old Naperville Road, in Naperville, Illinois at 1 PM on Saturday February 28. All are invited.
For directions see: http://www.dupageuuchurch.com/index.php/who-we-are?id=71
A gathering to celebrate Adolph’s life, and possibly an extended family reunion will be held at the farm in Cedarburg, WI later this year. If you reply or inquire to this blog, your last name will not be publicly posted, and if you prefer that your reply not be posted, just let me know in the text of your reply.
Gatherings to remember and celebrate Adolph will be held in New Orleans on or about May 2, and in Chicago in September. Contact the family for information.
Rather than send flowers, the family suggests contributions, if you like, in Adolph’s memory, to the Camp Brosius Fund. Make checks payable to the IU Foundation, write “Adolph Winter Memorial” in the memo line, and mail to Camp Brosius, 901 W. New York Street, Indianapolis,IN 46202. Learn about Camp Brosius at http://www.campbrosius.com