Stanley Winn ’62

Stanley Arden Winn passed away peacefully in his sleep on the evening of April 15, 2023. He was 82 years old. His wit was sharp, his love for his wife and family was immense, his interest in the stories of everyone around him was deep, and his compassion for others was boundless.

Stan was born on July 18, 1940 in Markesan, Wisconsin. His father Lester and mother Ramona first lived with the family in Waupun, WI before moving to Sheboygan, WI in 1952. After graduating from Sheboygan Central High School in 1958, Stan enrolled at and graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. During his time there, Stan’s greatest joy was performing with the Chapel Choir.

Shortly after graduating, he was drafted into the military, and after a tour of duty in Vietnam as a chaplain’s assistant, Stan returned to the States. He then began graduate school at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. This life decision would prove pivotal. There, he met a young woman named Kay Downs from Cumberland City, Tennessee. The two were married on April 9, 1966, and shortly thereafter relocated to Belvidere, Illinois. They would become teachers in the public school system in Belvidere, with Kay in elementary and Stan in junior high. Stan would remain a Reading and English teacher there for several decades before retiring in 2000.

In the late 1970’s, Stan took up the sport of cycling that quickly became a family passion that extended for decades. Stan was a member of Blackhawk Bicycle and Ski Club and held a United States Cycling Federation racing license where he racked up local and regional wins in his age category, culminating in a win at the Masters Regional Road Championships in the late 1980’s. He was also recognized for cycling the equivalent distance of going “Around the World.” Even after his first stroke late in 2008, he continued to ride every day.

His love of cycling was surpassed only by his love of classical music. Stan loved collecting and playing every symphony, concerto and requiem of Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and other composers. Long before the days of Bluetooth, on most weekday evenings you could find Stan lying on the sofa in the living room his headphones tethered to the stereo by a 20-foot coiled cord – listening to his reel to reel, then vinyl, then cassette and finally, compact discs of classical music. In it he found escape, inspiration, and peace.

Stan was a dedicated member of both Westminster Presbyterian and Hope Reformed churches in Rockford, IL. Drawing on his experience in the Hope Chapel Choir, Stan enjoyed decades of singing in the church choir and select solo performances. Upon his passing, he left each of us immensely proud of a man who gave everything in his heart for the people who he loved and those who he had just met, in equal measure. Everyone’s time on this planet is shorter than we wish it to be – his life is emblematic of that, and he will be missed in the deepest sense.

Stan was preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Ramona, and his sister Nancy. He is survived by his loving wife, Kay, his sons Shane (Lisa) and Greg (Jennie), and his daughter Janna  ’98 Tichenor (Pete), and eight grandchildren who adored him. He also is survived by his sisters Ravona Johnson (Alan) and Cindy Winn, his brother Cary Winn (Betsy), and brother-in-law Paul Wolske, as well as many nieces and nephews.

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