Memorial for Irene Winkle

Irene Winkle (Melody's grandma) passed away in April, and this past weekend we celebrated her life on what would have been her 100th birthday. Other than one grandson who was unable to make the trip, all her surviving descendants were present, as well as her nephew and his wife.

The memorial service was held at Rockwood Retirement Communities where she was a resident for over 40 years. The crowd was large (my guess was over 80 people) and not only included other residents, but also staff and family friends.

After the service, the reception, and lunch, family gathered at the grave site to inter her ashes.


Hymns were a big part of Irene's life, and she played and sang them often. With so many of her family being musicians, an impromptu band was put together to play "In the Garden" and "Amazing Grace" before the service. The performers were her nephew Bill on tuba, his wife Carola on clarinet, grandson Keith on trombone, his wife Bev on clarinet, grandson Hans on trombone, his mom Joanna on clarinet, and granddaughters Melody ("In the Garden") and Celeste ("Amazing Grace") on piano.

Scores were sent out a few weeks beforehand, but the group was only able to practice for about a half hour just before the service. That included doing the arrangements and figuring out who would be playing what parts. The group sounded great, and they were all really happy with out things turned out (the piano was on the opposite side of the room, so I couldn't get it into the frame). After the service, Bev and Carola played some clarinet duets.

Service and reception

The pastor who officiates services at Rockwood teamed up with the current pastor at First Presbyterian to honor Irene. They both had touching stories to tell of her.

Kevin gathered the flowers for one of the arrangements, in memory of his grandma's passion for providing fresh flowers for Sunday Service. They were on a high stand, which everyone present knew was how Irene's arrangements were displayed.

Bill Winkle did a tuba solo during the service, and he played very expressively. I wasn't able to capture him on video, but did get the audio.


Irene treasured her family, and it was fitting that so many were there to remember her. While there were a lot of people to talk to, I enjoyed exchanging thoughts and memories with each person. It was cleared that Irene's family and friends treasured her in return.