Paul Winchester

August 13, 1921 - October 14, 2009
Holland, MI



Wednesday, October 21, 2009
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Hope Church
77 West 11th street
Holland, MI 49423


Wednesday, October 21, 2009
1:00 PM EDT
Hope Church
77 West 11th street
Holland, MI 49423


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Hope Church Endowment Fund
77 West 11th Street
Holland, MI 49423

Rest Haven Care Community
9 East 8th Street
Holland, MI 49423


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Eastern Floral & Gifts
11595 East Lakewood Blvd.
Holland, MI 49424
1 (888) 258-8578
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With his kind and generous heart, Paul Winchester was always reaching out to brighten the world around him. Whether he was fixing a neighbor’s furnace, painting his house, or serving within his community, Paul was always doing something. To Paul, life was about family and friends with many of his friendships spanning a lifetime. He was a man with an unwavering faith which sustained him throughout the peaks and valleys along his life’s journey. Paul was proud to serve his country during a time of need, but his family was always his greatest source of pride.

The year 1921 was a year in which the first World Series baseball game was broadcast across radio waves, jazz music was becoming the latest craze within the music world, and Broadway reached an all time peak. It was also during this year that in Urbana, Illinois, Benjamin and Adelaide (Dunn) Winchester were celebrating the birth of their son, Paul Dwayne, on August 13th. Paul joined older sister Marjorie in his family. His father was a farm boy never having graduated from HS but worked in the boiler rooms of the University of Illinois for over 30 years and his mother was a homemaker who died when Paul was 21. Paul discovered that he liked working with wood as a young man, and that he also enjoyed satiating his rather inquisitive mind. In fact, on one occasion he took apart a Model T and put it back together just for the experience, only to realize, when he drove it through the back of his garage, that he put the transmission in backward!. Paul also enjoyed trips to Minnesota and Carbondale, Illinois with his family. As a young man, one of his first jobs was in an ice cream soda shop where he created the soon-to-be-famous “Donald Duck Sundae,” with chocolate ice cream topped with marshmallow sauce that was sold for a nickel. Paul attended Urbana High School where he played football.

Life was forever changed for Paul when as a college student at the University of Illinois, he went out on a blind date with a young gal named Dorothy (Dottie) Kelley. He made a big impression upon Dottie’s heart since after that first date, she was smitten with him. Their budding romance was interrupted for a time, however, when Paul enlisted in the Navy, and spent three and a half years in the South Pacific aboard the USS Idaho during WWII.

Upon his discharge, Paul returned to the university having qualified for the V-12 Navy College Training Program awarded to several commissioned officers who served during WWII. Once back in school, he resumed not only his studies, but also his relationship with his sweetheart. The couple was united in marriage on Flag Day, June 14, 1947, just a month after Paul graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. The newlyweds soon moved to an apartment in Holland, Michigan after Paul accepted a position with Hart & Cooley. He initially worked in the design department as an engineer, but steadily was awarded more responsibility due to his hard work and dedication. At the end of his 35 year tenure there, he had moved all the way to the president of the company, retiring from the only company that he had ever worked for in 1982.

Paul and Dorothy were blessed with the births of one son and four daughters. As a father, Paul was always there for his children whether he was driving them to their various activities or just doing many of the typical “dad” things. He was always popping corn…every Sunday and for just about any occasion. Homemade carmel corn, fudge and peanut brittle were holiday favorites. He taught his kids how to grow a mean tomato, read a map, check their oil, and fix anything that they had broken. He loved to drive, and often took his family on road trips in their station wagon. It was nothing to Paul to visit his family back in Illinois in order to participate in a family gathering even though it was a seven hour drive. Their trips back home were always accompanied by a stop in Kankakee for a picnic lunch. They also took several family trips to other destinations, often during spring break, including the Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Banff and Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies, or wherever Paul and Dorothy had researched in their trip books. Paul and Dorothy raised their family in the home they built in 1952, and they remained there throughout the rest of their lives.

According to his children, one of Paul’s defining characteristics was that he had strong views on doing the “right thing” which he not only communicated during the Sunday family dinners, but by the example he set by the way he lived his own life. He was always very practical and disciplined with himself, yet generous with others. Despite this discipline, he still embraced his children with his warmth and humor, and always had a large supply of one-liners on hand for any situation.

It was important to Paul and Dorothy that they raise their children to embrace their faith. They became members of Hope Church shortly after they moved to Holland, and were members there for the years that followed. Paul was active within his church serving as both an elder and a deacon, and he was also an instrumental part of the building committee during the years in which their church was rapidly expanding.

There were a variety of ways that Paul enjoyed spending his leisure time since he rarely sat still. Early in his career while attending a sales conference, Paul was asked if he played golf to which he responded that he did not. He was then told that he started tomorrow - and with that, his love for golf was born. Paul enjoyed working in his impressive wood working shop at his home, and he was part of a bridge group with Dorothy. He had friends from high school with whom he remained in touch, even going on a fishing trip to Minnesota together later in life. With this same group of friends they also traveled as couples at times as well. Paul was always fixing things or taking on projects of some sort whether small jobs or large ones like painting his house. In addition, he loved pheasant hunting, golfing, fishing gardening, sailing and watching his grandchildren grow.

Paul was also very active within his community including the Holland Jaycees, Rotary Club of Holland, Ottawa Savings and Loan, Century Club of Holland, Holland Chamber of Commerce, and he was also on the Junior Achievement board. He supported the Hope College theater and athletic program. You could always count on Paul and Dorothy to have their orange sweaters in their same seats in the civic center rooting on the Flying Dutchman even though none of their children attended Hope.

When reflecting on the life of Paul Winchester, one of the common threads woven throughout his tapestry of time is generosity. He was a stranger to none and a friend to all - sustaining friendships from his earliest days. Paul was always active doing a variety of things, but being with his family, grandchildren and friends always topped his list. He leaves behind many precious memories that will be forever treasured by all those who knew him.

Paul Winchester of Holland passed away on Wednesday, October 14, 2009. Paul’s family includes his children: son Robert (Chet) Winchester of Aspen, Colorado, daughter Barbara (J) Fris of Holland, MI., daughter Susan (Mark) Rhoades of Holland, MI., daughter Sally Winchester of Holland, MI, daughter Julie (Greg) Dingens of Chicago, Illinois; eight grandchildren, one great granddaughter, sister Marjorie Veraguth; sister-in-law Barbara (Glen) Wilson of Philadelphia, PA, and many in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years Dorothy in September of 2008. Services for Paul will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at Hope Church with the Rev. Gordon Wiersma officiating. Visiting will be following the service, from 2-4 p.m. in the Commons area at Hope Church. Family burial will be at Pilgrim Home Cemetery. Arrangements by the Dykstra Life Story Funeral Homes Inc.

Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign his online register or make a memorial contribution to Rest Haven or Hope Church Endowment Fund.