Washington Evening Journal

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 15, 2018

John Albert Winga Jr.

Aug 03, 2017


June 19, 1934 - July 30, 2017

John Albert Winga Jr., 83, of Washington, Iowa, died on Sunday, July 30, 2017, at the Medical Intensive Care Unit at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics in Iowa City surrounded by his family. He has been battling multiple medical issues over the past several months.

Celebration of life services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 7, 2017, at the United Presbyterian Church in Washington with Pastor Bill Warover officiating. Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday, at the Jones and Eden Funeral Home where the family will receive friends from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Interment will take place at the Elm Grove Cemetery in Washington.

John loved Washington and dedicated his life to his family, customers, and the Washington community and was passionate about wanting it to continually thrive. Since 1946 John has played his clarinet in the Washington Municipal Band which allowed him to continue his love for his music throughout life. He really enjoyed the park concerts and the great new bandstand. One of his happiest moments in his last days was listening to the band live from his hospital room. Therefore, in lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to your choice of The Washington Betterment Foundation (specifying for park benches for the Municipal Band concerts) or The United Presbyterian Church in honor of John. Online condolences may be sent for John's family through the web at www.jonesfh.com

John Albert Winga Jr. was born June 19, 1934, in Washington, Iowa, the son of John A. Winga and Catherine A. (Rees) Winga. He attended Washington High School graduating in 1952. He was very involved in music throughout his school years and also started very young washing windows and being a bus boy for his dad at Winga's Café that opened in 1928 on the north side of the square, the site of The World Famous Coffee Club which started in 1935. He next became a waiter and then decided he wanted to go into the restaurant business and received a full ride scholarship to Michigan State University to play in their marching band. He loved the Spartans and fondly remembers marching in two Rose Bowl and many other parades. He did cheer for the Hawkeyes when Michigan State wasn't involved. He graduated from college in 1956 with a hotel and restaurant management degree and was then drafted in the Army and played in the Army band. His father's health was failing so John moved back to Washington to help with the family business and ended up buying Winga's Restaurant in 1967 from his father.

It was in Winga's Restaurant that he met his, in John's words, "sweet little wife", Carol Ann Pretz who he married on June 25, 1960. At that time Carol was a school teacher but decided to retire in 1966 to join and support John and help at the restaurant as hostess and cashier. They had two children, John A. Winga III and Jane Winga (Hugunin), who both grew up working in the restaurant at a very young age learning their father's excellent work ethics. Throughout his restaurant career he was involved in the National Restaurant Association and was president of the Iowa Association in 1986. He truly enjoyed his years at the restaurant and dedicated his life to the building, the work, the food and most of all ---the people who passed through the doors. In order to spend time and watch their two grandsons Carter and Cameron Hugunin grow, they decided it best to close the restaurant doors on June 30, 2006 while they were still healthy.

He was very proud of his two children. His two grandsons were his pride and joy and are living out his love for music and cooking. He is not only known as the pie baker in Washington, he is well known in Utah for his delicious apple pie that he made every Christmas for the last 16 years. The legacy will live on as his grandsons continue to make his favorite recipes and have a deep love for cooking.

John was also on the Washington State Bank Board, Washington Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, a member of the YMCA since age 10, Washington Betterment Foundation, Washington City Ambassador, and was a member of the Washington United Presbyterian Church where he served as an Elder and was a member of the finance team.

Survivors include his wife Carol; son, John A. Winga III and wife Jerilyn of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; daughter, Jane Hugunin and husband Ted of St. George, Utah; grandchildren Carter and Cameron Hugunin; brother, Edward Winga and wife Sharon of La Crosse, Wisc.; brother, Richard Winga and wife Betty of Minneapolis, Minn.; and one sister-in-law, Evelyn McElhinney of Morning Sun, Iowa.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John A. and Catherine Winga; brothers-in-law, Paul McElhinney and Charles Jones; and sister-in-law, Marge Jones

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