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Rev. Dr. Eugene Hobday WinklerDecember 28, 1933 ~ June 16, 2017 (age 83)
The Rev. Dr. Eugene H. Winkler, 83, of Naperville, IL died on June 16 from injuries related to a fall in his home. Dr. Winkler was preceded in death just three months earlier by his wife of 60 years, Marilyn Louise Moyer Winkler. Dr. Winkler was a United Methodist preacher who served local congregations in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois for more than 50 years. For many years, he was the senior pastor of the First UMC Chicago Temple, the tallest church in the world. Dr. Winkler was an acclaimed preacher, a deeply and widely read man, and a noted theologian. His involvements were many. He was a founder of Protestants for the Common Good and served on the Illinois Gaming Board and the Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Wiley College, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, and countless other organizations for many years. His sermons were sprinkled with illustrations and quotations from his favorite theologians including Soren Kierkegaard, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Paul Tillich, and Karl Barth, as well as with poetry, stories, and laughter. He was a devout follower of Jesus Christ and preached of faith, forgiveness, love, mercy, kindness, and justice. He was a historian on the Civil War and his beloved city of Chicago. He was a ceaseless advocate for civil rights and inclusion of all people. He was known for his commitment to social justice causes and was passionately involved in struggles against racism, war, and poverty. Fearless in his advocacy, he was arrested on numerous occasions in nonviolence civil disobedience actions in protest of the Iraq War, police violence, and racial discrimination. Known as "Gene" to most and to "Rip" by older friends, he was born on December 28, 1933 in Dewitt, Arkansas, in the Delta region, one of the poorest sections of the United States, at the height of the Great Depression to Eugene D. and Hester E. Winkler. A proud Eagle Scout, he had two brothers, the late Paul (Gail) and Edward (Nina). Eugene was the loving father of; James (Michelle), Christopher (Kerry), and Grace Elizabeth (Jim) Cranley, beloved Grandad to Kristen (Darren) Garvey, Brandon (Sharlene), Grace (Alan) Shwartz, Samuel, Austin, Maddie, and Zaida; great-grandad to Elliott and Leo. Memorial visitation will be 9:30am until the memorial service at 11am Saturday, June 24 at the Barrington United Methodist Church, 98 Algonquin Road, Barrington, IL 60010. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the church.