hearts and minds

February 18, 2015

Adolph (Frederick Herman) Winter, Jr. – Obituary

Filed under: Uncategorized — Hearts & Minds @ 5:57 pm

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


  1. Sorry for your loss, Clyde. Your father had a well-lived life surrounded by family and friends. The obituary is a loving testimony. You, Claire and your Dad have been in my thoughts these days. I am sure he was glad to have you by his side.

    Comment by singlepayerhopeful — February 18, 2015 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  2. I’m very sorry for your loss, Clyde. May God bless you and your family and friends.

    Comment by Christina S — February 18, 2015 @ 10:27 pm | Reply

  3. It was a privilege to know Adolph, a gentlemen in every respect. Sorry for your loss.

    Comment by John B — February 19, 2015 @ 9:57 am | Reply

  4. Clyde, I would like to know more about a possible reunion. My grandmother was Alma (Goetter) Blank, daughter of Traugott Goetter. I think some of the other “Goetters” in the area may be interested also. I’ve been doing some family history on all sides of my family tree. It shows that you are my 3rd cousin. Thanks, Darrel

    Comment by Darrel B — February 24, 2015 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  5. Hi Clyde:

    So sorry to hear about your Dad’s demise, The first that I knew of his passing was when I saw your Blog today. I haven’t seen him in 3 years as I was living in Florida, but I have now returned to IL. Both your Mother and Dad were long time friends of mine through the Turners. I first met your Dad during the 1930’s while he was working as a part time assistant instructor at the old CTG Turnerhall in Chicago. He was enrolled at the Turner College in Indianapolis at the time and I was one of his first students at CTG.

    I was one of the Turners that visited the farm each summer.

    I will miss him, he was a wonderful man —Auf Wiedersehn Adolph !!!

    Comment by William M — March 18, 2015 @ 10:51 am | Reply

  6. Not sure you will remember me, our fathers were friends through Turners, and I remember your parents (and you) well from Camp. Was it not you who got in trouble for riding one of the cows in the pasture next door? Your folks always had a smile and a hello. I know your dad will be much missed by all.

    Comment by Penni E I — March 29, 2015 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

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