Donald Arden Winters went to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father at the age of 82 on Friday, September 6, 2019 in Rockville, IN at his daughter’s home. He was born in Bonners Ferry, ID on October 9, 1936 to Walter and Ruth Winters (née Meyer).
Don loved the Lord and strove to serve Him his whole life. After graduating from high school, Don began working as a bi-vocational pastor at the age of 19. Soon after he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served as a paratrooper. Following his service, Don attended Oak Hills Christian College and graduated in 1962. While there, he met and married Ruth Nelson and they made many lifelong friends. Don returned to work for the college as a Development Director in the early 1990s for 5 years. Don was a world champion top spinner and traveled throughout North America (1961-63) performing and teaching. He continued to give spinning top demonstrations the rest of his life, weaving the gospel of Jesus Christ in his message for schools events, youth groups and AWANA programs. Don received his bachelor’s degree from Whitworth College in 1972, his Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University in 1976 and received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity.
Don served the church in many roles throughout his life, and in retirement was invited to serve as an interim pastor for churches in Minnesota, Maine, Wisconsin, Illinois and Montana. He was a huge proponent of the annual midnight winter barefoot run (in Minnesota, no less), would often show up at the workplace with donuts midmorning, and was quick to entertain grandkids. He championed anything that his kids were doing and celebrated the life of each grandchild. His greatest hope was that each one would know God through faith in Jesus Christ, and Don would often comment that his trust in Jesus was the most significant decision he made.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ruth Elizabeth Winters (née Nelson) and their children, Heidi (David) Winters Vogel of Rockville, IN, Shawn (Becky) Winters of Victoria, MN, Troy (Jill) Winters of Bemidji, MN and Josh (Maria) Winters of Los Angeles, CA. He is also survived by fourteen grandchildren and one brother, Bob Winters of Lawrenceville, IL. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Harold Winters and Norman Winters.
A memorial service will take place October 5, 2019 at 3 p.m. The service will be held at Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji, MN. A reception will follow at Camp Oak Hills.
Memorial contributions may be made online to Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) for the ministry of Lee and Emily Ruppel at www.give.cru.org/0634727.