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Joan's Story

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Joan P. Winkler (nee Slater), 88, died suddenly of cardiac arrest at Howard Community Hospital Thursday evening, Feb. 22, 2018. Joan was born in Exmouth, England, on Nov. 27, 1929. Just after the end of World War II when she was just 19, she met Elmer (Wink) R. Winkler, on a blind date while he was stationed in London as a USA Naval sailor.
Joan was beautiful and glamorous, dressed in a crimson coat she had purchased with her month's salary, and Wink was instantly in love. They married two years later and after the birth of their first daughter, traveled the world together. They first went to Patuxent River, Maryland where their second daughter was born. Joan had a difficult time adjusting to life in rural United States, but eventually Wink was stationed in Morocco and my mother thrived. She rode Arabian stallions bareback on the wind-swept beaches of Morocco's Atlantic coast and learned the joys and economy of making designer-style dresses for herself and her young daughters. Joan and Wink next moved to Florida Keys, where Mom continued to sew and began breeding Siamese cats. Joan followed Wink to Tampa, Florida, where her husband retired from the Navy and joined the Air Force to spend more time with Joan. They moved to Kokomo where they established their first "real" home while Wink was stationed at Bunker Hill Air Force Base.
Joan started her on her third serious passion oil painting and sculpturing and like almost everything she attempted, she was completely committed. Joan was a serial hobbyist sewing, Siamese cat breeding, painting, stain glass, wine-making and gardening and she excelled at them all. Joan had a laser focus and total commitment to the task at hand.
In 1964, Joan and Wink returned to the England where Joan was reunited with her family and her beloved British food while Wink worked at the Strategic Air Command Center at the High Wycombe Air Force Base. Later they move to Madrid, Spain where Dad was stationed. In 1969, Wink retired and Joan and Wink returned to their home in Kokomo where they became active members of the community. When she was in her 50's, Joan attended Indiana University at Kokomo and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in general studies.
Joan was committed to community service and served on the Kokomo Community Concerts Association as a long-time board member and treasurer, positions she held until her death. Joan was also member of the Kokomo Delphian Reading Club and attended the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Joan was proceeded in death by her beloved husband, Elmer (Wink) R Winkler in 2014. She is survived by her two daughters, Cheryl A Winkler of North Potomac, Maryland, and Jennifer S Pruitt, of Pisgah Forest, North Carolina, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, at First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 2000 W. Jefferson St., with Pastor Jerry Van Auken officiating. Shirley & Stout Funeral Home assisted with cremation. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.shirleyandstout.com.
Published on February 24, 2018
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