Eugene Francis Winkler Jr., 87, died on July 15, 2021 at Aurora Bay Care because of complications from surgery.
Gene was born to the late Eugene F. Winkler Sr. and Lucille Weeks Winkler on July 30, 1933 in Chilton.
Gene graduated from Chilton High School in 1951, and was drafted into the Army in 1953. He served during the Korean War in the Signal Corp as part of the occupation in Germany, being honorably discharged in 1955.
After returning from Germany, Gene went to college on the GI bill and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Wisconsin State College, Oshkosh in 1959. He later earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966.
Gene began his career as an educator, teaching History and English in Kiel from 1959 until 1967. It was there he met his wife, Nancy E. Tuschl. They married on June 20, 1964 in Kellnersville.
He was a member of the Oshkosh West High School faculty from 1967 until his retirement in 1996, where he taught U.S. History and Economics. He was the head of the Social Studies Department for 26 years. Eugene Winkler also taught at UW-Oshkosh as an ad hoc economics professor from 1990 to 1996.
In 2005 Gene and Nancy created the Eugene & Nancy Winkler Scholarship Fund at the UW-Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services to support the future of education.
Gene was a member of the Oshkosh Education Association (OEA) and served as its president. He also officiated track and field and cross country competitions through the WIAA for 19 years.
He loved the arts, participating in many local productions at the Grand Opera House, including “1776,” “South Pacific,” “Evita,” “Carnival” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” He also hosted a cable TV show, Senior Savvy, from the Oshkosh Senior Center and was a president and board member. He also sat on the Board of Directors of the Oshkosh Public Museum and volunteered there, cataloging donations until 2021. The wrought iron archway on the corner of Algoma and Congress was gifted by Gene and Nancy to honor the history of the city of Oshkosh.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents and in 2013 by his wife Nancy. He is survived by his two daughters, Monica Winkler of Madison and Kate Winkler of Appleton, as well as one grandson, Kevin (Beth) Schraa of New Berlin. He is further survived by his brother Leland Winkler of Beaver Dam.
Two memorial services will be held. The first memorial service will be at Evergreen Retirement Community on Wednesday, July 21. The Evergreen visitation will begin at 2:30 p.m. with a service following at 3:30 p.m. A second memorial service will be held on Friday, July 30 at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church at 11 a.m. A visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service. A light lunch will be served after the service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Eugene & Nancy Winkler Scholarship Fund at the UW-Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services or to the Oshkosh Public Museum.