Darwin Ernest Winter, 83, of Norwalk, died Monday, March 13, 2017 at the VA Hospital. Darwin Ernest Winter was born into this world on January 3, 1934 to Lois (Lape) and William Winter in Alvord, Iowa. He was the eldest of eight children: Marlo (Liz) of Phoenix, AZ, Gary (Rosa) of Sioux Falls, SD, Tom (Fran) of Canton, SD, Lanny (Shirley) of Boyden, Karolyn (Tom) Henderson, Joan (Sam) Driesen of Rock Valley, IA, Jean (Jim) Driesen of Hawarden IA.
His early years were helping on farms around Rock Rapids and Alvord, Iowa. He joined the Army as a young man and was a proud member of the 182nd Airborne unit, as a Paratrooper. He served his country proudly in Korea and was fortunate to return home.
After returning home from his service and with the guidance of his land-lady, was introduced to the love of his life, Donnis Svoboda-McCarty. He immediately fell in love with her and her children from a first marriage. They eloped and were married for 55 years before Donnis departed this world. Together they raised their family …William McCarty, Roxanne (Mike) DeCamp, Jacqueline (Tim) Fleck, Paul McCarty, Michael (Lynette) McCarty, Kelly Winter and Lori (Darin) Feikema. He was blessed with numerous grandchildren – Sheri (Chad) Lloyd, Sam Kita, McKinley (Jeremy) Hodges, Jason (Molly) Fleck, Merrie Beth Fleck, Megan (Joey) Clawson, Alison McCarty (soon to be married to Jay Lame), Dustin (Amanda) Holthusen, Daniel Holthusen, Haley (Mike) Jessen, Nicole Feikema, and Rachel Feikema as well as numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Over the years he supported his family by barbering and driving truck. He retired after health issues prevented him from trucking any longer.
Darwin never knew a stranger, he was as strong, vibrant and fun-loving man who enjoyed life to its fullest.
He suffered heart-arch at the loss of his parents, siblings (Karolyn – Gary – Joan), a child (Jacqueline), a grandson (Daniel) and wife (Donnis).
He fought and overcame illnesses – spinal meningitis, prostate cancer – and lastly fought esophageal cancer with great determination. While Darwin didn’t win the battle, he was awarded eternal life.
Darwin requested no service be planned, he will be remembered by family and friends in a celebration of life – TBD.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the VA Hospice unit of Des Moines Iowa.