It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of a legendary figure of our Chapter and KU, Dick Wintermote ’52, who died December 19, 2011, after several years of failing health.
Services were held in Lawrence’s historic Plymouth Congregational Church in the same sanctuary where the funeral of Lloyd Houston, Williams ’04 was held over 35 years ago. Grant Kaufman ’92 delivered an eloquent eulogy that really captured the essence of Dick’s unique personality and how he had been a terrific mentor, role model, leader, and friend to many DU men spanning generations. Former university Chancellor Archie Dykes also delivered remarks and a remembrance of Dick, stressing that Dick always did what was expected “and then some.”
A group of DU alumni and undergraduates sang “Hail Delta Upsilon” as a last tribute to Dick, and the service was concluded with the organist playing the KU alma mater, followed by a rousing full-stops version of the KU fight song. Dick was laid to rest in Kansas City next to his wife, Barbara, who died last spring. Dick’s full obituary, as seen in the Lawrence Journal-World, is printed below.
Dick was born on July 10, 1926, in Augusta, Kan., the son of John W. Sr. and Ruth Clouse Wintermote. He grew up in Augusta and was a graduate of Augusta High School. Following his graduation, he enlisted in the US Navy where he served 18 months (1944-46) on New Hebredes and New Caledonia Islands in the South Pacific. Following his service to the country in 1946, he came to Lawrence to attend KU. Dick graduated from KU in 1951. While at KU, he was a cheerleader for the 1948 Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla.
Dick was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. He continued his work supporting the fraternity until the time of his death. The fraternity honored Dick in 1982 as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Kansas Chapter of Delta Upsilon (part of the inaugural class), 1992-95. He helped raise $2.1 million and was involved in the $3 million renovation of the Kansas DU Chapter House. In 2010, Dick was recognized as the inaugural recipient of the Dick Wintermote Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dick was the retired executive director of the KU Alumni Association from 1963-83. He was an assistant field or associate director of the KU Alumni Association from September 1951 to July 1963, at which time he was named executive director and secretary-treasurer. He retired from those positions on July 1, 1983, after 32 years with the association, 20 years as the chief operating officer.Dick was then asked to manage long-range planning for both the KU Alumni Association and the Kansas University Endowment Association, and it was from those studies that the very successful Campaign Kansas was born.
Under his leadership, the Alumni Association was named national champion and received The Alumni Administration Award for Comprehensive Excellence in 1972, the Time-Life “Best Direct Mail Campaign of the Year” in 1971; received National Citations for Merit in 1974 and 1975 for “New and Innovative Alumni Programming”, “Alumni Records Management” and the Kansas Honor Student Program. The Alumni Association’s Kansas Alumni Magazine was named “Best in the Nation” in 1983 and had been regularly recognized on district and national levels for overall excellence for many years. Dick was a frequent speaker at district and national conferences of the American Alumni Council and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and at two International Business Machine “Higher Education Executive Conferences”. He served as an alumni association consultant to the President of the University of Arizona and to the Alumni Association of the University of Colorado at Boulder. One of his proudest accomplishments was being involved in the planning of the K.S. “Boots” Adams Alumni Center and his role in its planning, starting in 1979; the campaign that raised more than $6 million in private funds and monies for its endowment. It was opened on August 22, 1983.
In 1982, he was designated as a Distinguished KU Alumni and in 1989; he was the recipient of the Fred Ellsworth Medallion. In 2008, he served as President of the Gold Medal Club at KU.
In 2007, the KU Alumni Association created the Dick Wintermote Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award to honor Dick, who dedicated his career to building relationships with KU alumni, and his renowned personal letters earned him admiration and a lasting legacy.
He was married to Barbara Jean Fletcher on December 28, 1950 in Kansas City, Missouri. She preceded him in death on May 8, 2011. Survivors include one daughter, Terry W. Preston, of Lawrence, a son, Mark F. Wintermote, of Glendale, Arizona, four grandchildren; Matthew F. Preston, Katherine A. Preston, Ben F. Wintermote, Zachary C. Wintermote, and a great grandson, Jackson F. Wintermote.