Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dennis Winchester, R.I.P.

Dennis Winchester, a much-admired teacher at Powers and principal of St. Mary's Mt. Morris, died Saturday at his home. Mr. Winch introduced many students, including me, to the wonders of American history and sparked a lifelong interest in politics and international affairs. He will be missed.  

Here is information from Mr. Winchester's obituary:
The funeral mass will take place 11:00 am, Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at the St. Mary Catholic Church in Mt. Morris. Rev. Fr. Thomas Nenneau will officiate with cremation. Dennis' family will be present at the Martin Funeral, Cremation & Tribute Services in Mt. Morris to receive friends on Tuesday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. Tuesday Evening family, friends and parish will gather to pray the Rosary at 6:00 pm. On Wednesday Dennis will be taken to church to lie in state from 10:00 am until time of Mass at 11:00 am. Those desiring may consider memorial contributions to the Guardian Angel Fund for St. Mary Catholic School. Envelopes are available at the funeral home and church.

Left to cherish his memory, two children, Maranda and Aaron Winchester; six siblings, Sue Monnett, Donald (Joyce) Winchester, Bill (Jackie) Winchester, Rita Morgan, Lynn (Rick) Boyes and Nancy (Glen) McMillan; parents, Ray and June Winchester and many other family members and friends.


  1. Hung-around and worked with Denny back in the late 60's at the Hamady Bros. Food Market in the Northwest Shopping Center. He was as hard a worker as I have ever worked with but knew how to have a good time too. Played against him in the 'ol Flint Area Parochial League ...he was a key player on Mt. Morris St. Mary's basketball team, I played at St. Mike's. Haven't talked to him in over 30 years but still remember him as one of the many great people to come out of the 'ol Flint Area parochial schools.

  2. I was taken a back by the news, and wish I could attend the services. Denny was one of the first teachers to awaken me from the adolescent slumber many of us found ourselves in High school. He told us the gritty stories that were the driving forces through out History. He was a definite influence in the way I perceive and go about in this world. My bests to his family. He will be missed.

    1. Joe hit it. A great teacher who made history interesting. I've carried that interest forward ever since.

  3. Denny was a great and learned teacher. I took his American history survey course (co-taught with Dave Pettyes) and his American politics/current affairs course in the early 1990s. He, along with Bob Richardson, were the stars of the faculty, both as people and as instructors. They made school tolerable -- and, often, fun -- for someone who couldn't wait to get the hell out of there and move on to college. We lost both of them too soon, Bob in 1993 and now Denny twenty years later. May they both rest in peace.

    Aaron Steelman

  4. Rest in peace will be missed by more than you realize.

    Anthony Coggins

  5. By far the most memorable teacher I had the pleasure of learning from at Powers. He opened minds and inspired dialogue like no other teacher before him. Mr. Winch, you're already missed!

    Yosief Gheresus, '01

  6. Denny Winchester was indeed a star, and we were his fans. I absolutely loved his World History class. He was a tremendous storyteller, sitting legs crossed upon his desk, extemporaneously delivering one story after the next about the characters of the past he colorfully described like no one else could. Salty and sarcastic, contrarian and subversive, with an irreverent wit and an eagle-eyed passion to get to the truth of a matter, he could hold us spellbound for hours. He really ignited in me, and I think in many of us, a lifelong desire to understand how the world came to be the way it is. Rest in peace Denny, you were a true inspiration.

  7. I didn't attend Powers or know Mr. Winchester, but am nevertheless touched by the love and appreciation held for him by his former students.

    In this day and age when teachers have been vilified by the media and politicians, it is a reminder of the high esteem in which educators used to viewed.

  8. Sorry for your loss! Our kids used to play hockey together and I always enjoyed his company. Cindy Ruschke


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at