Albert Leo Winkler, age 90, of Kelly, passed away on May 17, 2019 at Crestview Nursing & Residential Living in Seneca surrounded by his children. His beloved wife, Ellen, preceded him in death on March 6 of this year. Albert was born on December 21, 1928 in Kelly, Kansas, the son of Eugene and Philomena Kongs Winkler. His first school was a one-room schoolhouse. He later went to Kelly schools, graduating from St. Bede’s High School in Kelly, and went to St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, Kansas.
In 1951 he left college to join the United States Marine Corp. While stationed in Korea from December 1951 to December 1952, he participated in operations against enemy forces in South and Central Korea. His specialty was artillery survey work. His Battalion was assigned to provide calculation of survey coordinates for protecting the UN truce negotiators in the village of Panmunjom. The survey team was reputed to be the most precise and accurate in the 8th Army. He was injured during combat and awarded the Purple Heart. He also was awarded the National Defense Medal, Korean Service Medal and UN Service Medal. In 2002, he participated in a Korean War Veterans Revisit Tour, returning to the village of Panmunjom and forward outposts along the DMZ.
On January 17, 1953, Albert married Ellen Haverkamp at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in St. Benedict, Kansas while on his leave from the Marine Corps. They initially lived at the Marine base in 29 Palms in California, and then moved to their farm south of Kelly. While farming full time and starting a family, he was determined to complete his college degree, and did so by commuting to Manhattan, Kansas, 72 miles each way. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics in 1967.
In 1967 he was awarded a fellowship to attend graduate school. At the age of 39, and with his 8th child on the way, Albert and Ellen moved the family to Manhattan, Kansas where, during the next three years Albert completed coursework for his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Economics. His Ph.D. was awarded in 1972. They moved to various college towns where Albert taught and he and Ellen raised their nine children. His teaching stops included Kansas State University, Purdue University Calumet Campus, Fort Hays State University, Johnson County Community College and Highland Community College.
They returned to their farm south of Kelly in 1987 and raised cattle. During this time, Albert farmed, managed the Seneca Elevator, taught night classes for Highland County Community College, did crop adjusting and sold seed. He served as President of the Nemaha County Historical Society. In 2012 they moved to Seneca.
Albert and Ellen celebrated their 50thanniversary in 2003 and their 66th anniversary in 2019.
Albert was a positive man by nature and shared that with countless people. He enjoyed his work in many fields and took special pride in fixing things as economically as possible. Albert had a lifelong passion for physical activity: running, swimming and working. He was very health conscious and enjoyed studying the impact of nutrition on the diet and its ability to improve the quality of life.
He was a loving husband and father who silently took pride in his family’s activities and quietly corrected any wrongdoing. He enjoyed coaching sports when his children were growing up and thoroughly enjoyed traveling around the state of Kansas watching them play high school and collegiate sports.
Albert had a deep and unwavering faith. Praying the Rosary was a constant in the family household and on car trips over the years. He was a member of St. Bede’s Parish in Kelly, and the Knights of Columbus.
Albert is survived by his nine children: Joan (Jim) Lueger, Seneca, Jayne (Bart) Harvey, Carmel, IN, Mary (Owen) Geisz, Fairway, KS, Joe (Susan) Winkler, Lincoln, NE, Rod (Sharon) Winkler, Sabetha, KS, Mark (Dawn) Winkler, Corning, KS, Bonnie (Jim) Wetzel, Palos Heights, IL, John Winkler (former wife, Lena Gruenbacher), Manhattan, KS, and David (Kara) Winkler, Prairie Village, KS; 27 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren with 3 on the way; two brothers, Marvin (Theresa) Winkler, LeRoy (Eunice) Winkler, sister-in-law Lillian (Clarence) Engelken, and life-long friends Tom and Sue McGuire, and many nieces and nephews.
Albert was preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Philomena Winkler, brother and sister-law Linus and Lucille Winkler, and sister and brother-in-law Eleanor and Raymond Hermesch.
Rosaries will be prayed at Lauer Funeral home on Tuesday, May 21st at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at St. Bede’s Church in Kelly on Wednesday, May 22nd at 10:30 AM, with burial following in St. Bede Cemetery.
Memorials may be left with Lauer Funeral Home for the Benedictine Sisters at Mount St. Scholastica, Nemaha County Historical Society, or the Manhattan Catholic Schools.
Lauer Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. To express your sympathy and for more information visit www.lauerfuneralhome.com .