Dr. Gary Van Winkel was born February 9, 1937 in Logan, Utah. He was the 3rd of 7 children born to his parents, Anton and Clella Winkel. He spent much of his life living and working on his family’s farm in Oregon where his best friends were the animals that lived there. He was a self-taught musician who could often be found playing his clarinet to an audience of cows. Gary was a rambunctious teenager, full of life and mischief; a survivor of multiple serious accidents throughout his life, some of which included falling out of a second story window, severe burns from a car fire, going through a windshield, and nearly losing his leg from a logging accident. Despite the lingering effects of some of these injuries, he was drafted for the Korean War where he dutifully completed years of service in the army band while stationed there. Gary, an already accomplished musician, received training at the Navy School of Music and later received a degree in Biology from the University of Utah, where he also committed a large amount of his free time in pursuit of improving his physical fitness.
Gary was previously married and divorced to his first wife, Naon Strate, with whom he had two children, Sheri Winkel and Troy Winkel. In 1970, he later married Renée Swenson Winkel in the Los Angeles, California LDS Temple. They had five children together: Alan Winkel, Anthony Winkel, Cindy Thompson, Tiffany Nutter, and Tina Mortensen. They would have celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary this week, only three days after he passed.
Gary taught marching and jazz band, biology, and weight-lifting at Milford and Payson High Schools for many years in Utah before he moved his family to California to attend the LA College of Chiropractic where he received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. In 1979, he bought Apple Valley Chiropractic in Apple Valley, CA where he continued to work as a chiropractor for many years and where he also chose to retire, finding great fulfillment in improving the lives of others through as many natural means as he could find. A notorious gym rat and jovial extrovert, Gary could often be found surrounded by friends and strangers alike, sharing his abundant knowledge regarding ways to improve their health. When not at work or the gym, Gary loved to spend his time fixing classic cars, going out into the middle of the desert to dig for vintage treasures, and performing at many local venues with the family band he founded with his wife and kids.
In early 2021, Gary suffered from a stroke and a heart attack that went undetected for some time, of which the aftereffects greatly altered the standard of healthy living to which he had grown so accustomed. He and Renée moved to Spanish Fork, Utah in January of 2022 to be closer to their children's families and where he could live in hospice care to receive the attention he needed. Gary Winkel passed away on the 26th of July, 2022 at the age of 85 after battling the symptoms of heart failure and vascular dementia. He is survived by his wife Renée and their 5 children as well as his two children from his previous marriage, five of his six siblings as he was preceded in death by his older sister Verlene earlier this year, and 20 grandchildren. We believe he has found true joy in the arms of his parents and Savior in the life hereafter, and playing with all of the numerous pets he loved, no longer bound by the constraints of his body.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at 10:00 am at the Spanish Fork Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 452 West 550 South, Spanish Fork, Utah where family will greet friends from 9:00 to 9:45 am prior to the services. Interment with military honors will follow at the Payson City Cemetery.