Patricia 'Pat' Winter

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Patricia Joan Winter, 72, of Le Mars, died peacefully on Thursday, July 18, 2019, after multiple battles with cancer.

Patricia was born Nov. 20, 1946 in Le Mars, the daughter of Arlo N. Herbst and Catherine H. Mulder. Patricia graduated from Le Mars Community High School in 1964. She continued her education by attending both a secretarial training program, as well as the nursing program at Morningside College in Sioux City. Patricia was proud of her country girl roots … the beginning of exploring and enjoying the beauty of God’s masterpiece. The peacefulness of the country landscape became the foundation for Patricia’s journey into a rewarding life.

On Sept. 5, 1964, Patricia (Pat) married the one and only love of her life, Gilbert M. Winter, in Amarillo, Texas. Upon completion of his service in the United States Air Force, the couple returned to Merrill, and began farming and managing their livestock herd.

The early years found Pat raising their son, Scott, her pride and joy, and establishing a career with the Northwest REC as an administrative assistant. As a close friend and co-worker said about her, “Patty was the glue in the office!” Always a kind and caring person, Pat felt drawn to public service. She was elected president of the Christian Women’s Organization and board member of the Plymouth County Fair, receiving the “Rookie of the Year” award for her outstanding work on the Plymouth County Fair Queen contest.

Over the years, Pat served Le Mars in various capacities, making life-long friends and touching the community where she lived and worked. Pat became the chairperson of the Goodie Sale for the Floyd Valley Hospital Auxiliary after a friend’s tragic accident.

As member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and an avid reader, Pat fit naturally into her position on the Library Committee. Pat held numerous committee positions over the 30 years. She was a member with the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, recently earning master level for the local chapter, Gamma Omicron, and being voted 2006-2007 “Woman of the Year” by her colleagues.

One of her most gratifying accomplishments was to be chosen the American Cancer Society Relay for Life “Cancer Survivors’ Queen” and “Honorary Chair” for the relay in 2008. In her words as Honorary Chair, “I feel each day is a treasure. Enjoy your time with family and friends,” and “Let’s keep fighting.”

Gilbert and Pat continued to grow their farming and livestock operation throughout the years, implementing the latest technology and conservation practices and working side by side for nearly 30 years. Pat had the opportunity to impact the agricultural industry as a commissioner for the Plymouth County Soil & Water Conservation District for 26 years, serving as treasurer of that district for 23 years.

Pat appreciated collecting relics from days past and acquired a vast knowledge of antiques, along with her natural flair for interior design. Combining these talents, Pat created beautiful homes in Le Mars, Okoboji and Green Valley, Arizona, where she and Gilbert loved spending time with their family and friends. Pat also enjoyed experiencing nature, watching sunsets, good wine and a golden retriever named Maggie. She made every day a celebration of life!

Pat is lovingly remembered by her husband, Gilbert; her son, Scott (Stacey) of Dakota City, Nebraska; her step-grandson, Michael (Andra) Akins of Merrill; her step-great-grandchildren: Reina Meyer and Memphis Akins; her brother, Leon (Candi) Herbst of Merrill; her sister, Lois (Jim) Antonen of Davis, California/White Bear Lake, Minnesota; her niece, Noel Herbst of Merrill; her nephews: Justin Herbst of Merrill, Charles (Jamie Cross) Antonen of San Francisco, California, Matthew (Jaime) Antonen of Minnetonka, Minnesota, and Patrick (Kerri) Antonen of Blaine, Minnesota; and her great-nephews Blake, Griffen and Jackson Antonen.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m.. Thursday, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, E.L.C.A. in Le Mars. The Rev. Chris Meier will officiate. Burial will be at Graceland Park Cemetery in Sioux City. Visitation will be after 3 p.m., Wednesday, at Rexwinkel Funeral Home in Le Mars. The family will be present after 5 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will resume from 10 a.m. until service time on Thursday at the church.

Arrangements are with the Rexwinkel Funeral Home in Le Mars.

Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through