Julia Helen Winegarner was born on May 12, 1927, to Otto Lenord and Mary Martha (Lowder) Kimrey in Hooker, OK. At the age of 4, after the death of her father, Julia and her mother moved to Colorado. She enjoyed living in the country and her favorite childhood pets were geese and ducks. Her education began at Bethel School, age 8; walking 1 ½ miles to and from school, and later, rode to school with her Uncle Debs on the back of his Indian motorcycle. After graduating from Campo High School in 1945, she attended Panhandle A & M College in Goodwell, OK, where she obtained her teaching degree in 1948. In August of the same year, Julia and Howard Clinton Winegarner were married in Clayton, NM, and over the next five years were blessed with three children, Arla, Sue and Doug. Julia’s husband passed away suddenly from a car accident in 1954, leaving her alone with their three children, until her mother, Mary, moved into her home to help. She began her teaching career the same year at Campo High School, in Campo, CO, where they lived. Teaching piano lessons in her home was something that brought her joy, as she always enjoyed music. In 1955, Julia was baptized and became a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. In the summer of 1956, Julia began furthering her education at Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison, CO, receiving her Master’s Degree in Business in 1959. After teaching in Campo for 9 years, she accepted a position as the business teacher at Springfield High School in Springfield, CO. She was always proud of her teaching accomplishments and was delighted to watch her students transform into competent typists, to which many of her former students can attest.
Julia was a host to several foreign exchange students over the years, hosting Sawyer and Shinobu from Japan, Janet from China, and Javita from Europe. These visiting students held a very special place in Julia’s heart and she kept in touch with them through the years.
After a successful teaching career of 40 years, she retired in 1994. At her home in Springfield, she was involved in church activities, enjoyed working in her flower and vegetable gardens, took care of her yard, enjoyed playing the piano, and belonged to several clubs with her friends. Julia also loved to travel, taking several bus tour trips in her retired years, as well as traveling to see her foreign exchange students and meet their families.
In 2016, Julia moved to an Independent Living home in Lincoln, NE, and eventually transitioned to Assisted Living, where she passed away on January 16, 2020, at the age of 92. Julia was a proud, strong lady and lived a long beautiful life. She was preceded in death by her father, mother, and husband. She is survived by two daughters, Arla Freiberger (Bob) of Grove, OK, Sue Cheney of Lincoln, NE, and one son, Doug Winegarner (Annie); three grandchildren, Corey Winegarner of Ft Worth, TX, Tara Westerbuhr (Steve) of Malcolm, NE, and Kristin Dworak (Ty) of Fort Calhoun, NE; and five great grandchildren, Jenna, Paige, and Grant Westerbuhr and Ella and Nora Dworak.
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