GALVA - Irvin Keith Winter, 90, of Galva, passed away at home on Friday, November 13, 2020. Irvin was born on March 4, 1930, in Galva, the 6th of 10 children born to Robert and Mildred (Smith) Winter. He married Elsie M. Powell on November 22, 1958 in LaFayette, IL. She passed away on May 15, 2019.
Irvin attended schools in LaFayette, Galva and Toulon. He built and worked with his father at RW Winter Garage and filling station in West Jersey before enlisting in the United States Air Force on October 28, 1948. He was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and Francis E. Warren Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He discharged one year later but was drafted back during the Korean War in 1950 and served as a Sergeant at Hamilton Air Force Base in San Francisco, California. After the service, he was employed at several Ford garages throughout the area, including in Wyoming, Kewanee, Toulon and Galva. Eventually he built Winter & Sons Garage in LaFayette with his father.
When he was hired at the Allendale Coal Mine in Wyoming, he worked at both the mine and at his garage for many years until finally closing his business. When the Wyoming mine closed 14 years later, he worked at Midland Coal Mine in Victoria until it closed 2 years later, the Galva Foundry till it closed 2 years after that and then the City of Galva from 1984 until retiring in 1992. Then he worked part-time for about 17 years at Lake Calhoun Golf Course in LaFayette, mowing and repairing golf carts. Later on, he helped his son-in-law occasionally at Ed’s Lawn & Garden in Galva repairing lawn mowers.
Irvin was a member of the American Legion for 70 years, first at LaFayette Post 948 from 1951 until 2018 then at Galva Post 45. He served as Commander in LaFayette for many of those years, starting in 1954 and again later until its closure in 2018. During those years, he organized and worked numerous Legion dinner fundraisers. He was also a member of the Galva Fusiliers, serving at many military funerals throughout the area. He volunteered with the Lafayette Fire Department and was a member of the Lake Calhoun Golf Association for more than 52 years.
In his younger years, he grew a large garden and enjoyed playing golf, mushroom hunting and trapping. In his later years, he enjoyed collecting coins and sitting outside watching the neighborhood and the cars go by. He insisted on mowing his own yard right up until his death. He also enjoyed watching the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears. In September 2015, he was very proud to have been a participant in an Honor Flight of the Quad Cities.
Irvin is survived by three daughters; Debbie (Ed) Johnson of Kewanee, Jane (Dave) Riggs of Sheffield and Donna (Mike) Nigh of Port Orange, FL; five grandchildren; Amber (Ryan) Biggs of Peoria, Heather (Adam) Wold of Chicago, Steven Johnson of Metamora, Michelle Johnson of Nashville, TN and Dakota Nigh of Port Orange, FL; one great-grandson, Jack Biggs of Peoria; one brother, Richard Winter of Galva; and four sisters, Virginia Young, Joyce Steward, and Henrietta Todd of Galva and June Klimkewicz of Kewanee. He was proceeded in death by his wife of 60 years; his parents; two brothers, Robert (killed in WWII) and Eugene; and 2 sisters; Doris Chianakas and Susan Bridson.
Cremation will be accorded and graveside services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 18 at the Galva Cemetery where military rites will be accorded by the Galva Fusiliers. Fr. John Cramer will officiate. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Galva American Legion or the LaFayette United Methodist Church. Rux Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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