Keith Gardner Winkler|
Keith Gardner Winkler died in his home in Payson, Utah, from causes incident to age and illness at 4:15am, October 15, 2013. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ira William Winkler and Mamie Lloyd Winkler, and by one grandson, Kent Farley, and survived by his wife, Carol LaVon Grass Winkler; siblings: Lloyd (Jo) Winkler, Marian (Grant, dec.) Monson, and Jae (Luana) Winkler; and children: Benjamin K. (Beth) Winkler, Marti Santizo, Andrew M. Winkler, Matthew G. Winkler, Betsy (Nate) Johansen, Naomi (Kevin) Yocum, and Iralee (Marden) Pace. He has 26 living grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Keith was born May 22, 1927 in Bluebell, UT, and raised in the Uinta Basin and Spring Canyon. He attended schools in Roosevelt, Ioka, and Spring Canyon, where he was Student Council President at Spring Canyon Junior High School. He then graduated from Carbon High School in Price, UT, and after graduation, he enlisted in the US Navy, where he served until the demobilization following WWII.
After attending the University of Utah for two years, Keith was called to serve a mission to the Eastern States Mission. During his mission, he participated in the Hill Cumorah Pageant, both as an actor, and as part of the stage and set construction crew. He drew lifelong pleasure from his role as "the voice of King Limhi". He was the broadcaster of a weekly radio show, and sang as member of the "Utah Centennial" Chorus that performed throughout the mission area. These experiences foreshadowed his participation in amateur thespian and choral productions throughout his life.
Keith subsequently resumed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah, before going to the University of Minnesota dental school. Before graduating Keith married his sweetheart, Carol LaVon Grass, in the Salt Lake Temple, March 23, 1955. Upon receiving his degree as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), he also received a commission as an officer in the United States Public Health Service.
Keith served a career of great distinction in the USPHS. He was selected as one of only six dentists nationwide for appointment to the Radiological Health Program, and he gained a global reputation for both expertise and veracity as a researcher. He authored papers published in the American Dental Association Journal and in the Journal of Radiological Health, and was asked to present papers at ADA conventions. He was often specifically requested by the ADA as "the only one they could trust to get them the truth." His testimony in hearings before congressional committees also resulted in his papers being read into the Congressional Record. His work was noted world-wide, and he was recognized by foreign researchers as "the world's foremost authority on the dental uses of radioactive Yttrium." He retired as a Captain (O-6) after a twenty-year career.
After retiring, Keith took up fine woodwork and lathe turning, and developed a level of artistry that is still on display in public buildings in Orem and Provo. He turned all the uprights for the circular staircase in the Bunnell Building on the Utah Valley University campus, and his work on the historic Knight Building in downtown Provo is acknowledged by a plaque there. He also used his woodworking talents to create scenery and award-winning props for the Orem Summer Theater, including a functioning carousel for a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel.
Keith loved acting in amateur thespian productions, generally with as many family members as a given production could provide roles for. He also sang in church and community choirs throughout his life, including a performance at Wolf Trap, VA (the National Park for the Performing Arts), and with the Mendelssohn Chorus in Provo, UT.
A faithful and active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Keith served in many callings, including: Stake Dance Director, New York Stake; Branch President, San Juan, PR, Branch; Bishopric Counselor, Baltimore, MD, 2nd Ward; one of the Presidents of the Washington, D.C., Stake Quorum of Seventy; Stake Priesthood Organist, Silver Spring, MD Stake; Co-Director, Edgemont, UT, Family History Center; Data Extraction Director, Edgemont, UT, Stake; callings as Ward Librarian, Ward/Branch Clerk, Stake Missionary, and as a teacher in various organizations. With his wife, Carol, he served a Family History Mission in Las Vegas, NV. In addition to church callings, Keith also served as the President of the Parent Teacher Association.
Friends are invited to call on the family during the viewing at the Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem, UT on Sunday, October 20, 2013, at 6:00-8:00pm. The funeral service will be held Monday, October 21, 2013, 11:00 am, in the Edgemont 4th Ward Chapel (The Red Brick Building), 4056 North 650 East, Provo, UT. Friends may also call on the family prior to the service (9:30-10:30am) at that location. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SundbergOlpinMortuary.com
Published in Deseret News on Oct. 18, 2013