Martha “Jo” Winters 8/17/28-7/21/20
Martha Johanna Dimke Winters passed away quietly at her home Tuesday night following a long battle with COPD and upper respiratory issues. Jo was born in Elkhart, IN. on August 17, 1928 but grew up in Ft Wayne, graduating from Southside High School in 1946, and later from Franklin College in 1950, being a member of one of the first classes to have women in a pre-med curriculum. She also received her Masters degree from IU in education.
At Franklin College she met her husband, David Winters, and was married for 25 years. Jo had two children, Dan Winters (Julie) who lives in West Chester, OH and Nina Winters-Plotkin (Charlie Lucy) who resides in Franklin, in the home where Jo lived for 60 years. She was the happy grandmother of Carey Lang (Zack), Hannah Wyatt (Mark), Wynter Royer (Jon), and Ross Plotkin (Sarah). Jo also had six great grandchildren…Ada Lang, Asher Royer, Everett Royer, and Rogue Royer, and Benny Wyatt and Max Wyatt. She laughed with and loved countless other friends and relatives.
Jo was placed for adoption when she was three. It was one of many instances where she was blessed by the Lord, for her life was made so much richer because of the adoption into the loving arms of Fred and Gladys Dimke. Her father, Fred, was the light of her life, until he died at 72 in 1960. Growing up in Ft. Wayne during World Was II, she loved the Ft. Wayne Daisies (the Girls' Professional Baseball Team), and supporting the troops whenever there was a drive to contribute to.
Jo loved Franklin with all of her heart, never once wanting to live anywhere else. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta in college and stayed involved with the chapter for many years. In another twist of fate, she was approached in 1959 asking if she’d ever thought about teaching, but she really hadn’t. So that year she began what would end up being a career in education, which would span part of five decades. She spent the first two years at Cedar Grove, and the next 32 years at Union Elementary before retiring in May 1992.
She was especially remembered by the Union community for her annual reading to her class of two classics: The Bears of Blue River and Where The Red Fern Grows. Students many years later would remind her of how much that meant to them. Two years after she retired, she was honored as the Most Influential Educator by the Franklin Senior Class of 1994 -- an elementary school teacher, already two years retired from a small country school.
Jo had a remarkable ability to not take life too seriously and was totally comfortable laughing at herself. Being an animal lover, she rescued countless doggies and kittens but her favorite was probably Pooh, named after Winnie the Pooh. She loved that Shitzu with all of her heart.
She loved vacationing in Maine many times in the 60’s, and Martha’s Vineyard in the 70’s. For many years she attended the Indianapolis 500 and also rooted for Notre Dame football, IU basketball, and of course the Indianapolis Colts. She absolutely loved ALL football.
Her memory will remain an absolute treasure to the family she's left behind.
Due to the COVID virus, there will not be a viewing or funeral; however a Celebration of Life Mass at St Rose of Lima, her parish, will be held sometime in the future.
Arrangements entrusted to Jessen Funeral Home ~ Franklin Chapel
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