Mrs. Sharon Lee Winchell, age 84, a longtime resident of Atlantic Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at Heritage House in Atlantic, Iowa after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Sharon was born May 24, 1938, in Webster City, Iowa, the second of two children to Harold and Claudia “Pearl” Davis Christensen. The family lived in Stratford and Malcom before settling in Clemons in 1951 where her parents owned and operated Clemons Grain and Supply. After graduating valedictorian in 1956 from Clemons High School, she went on to attend Iowa State University where she majored in mathematics. There she met her first husband, Richard Brown. They were married in the summer of 1959. After graduation, they moved to Davenport where she taught high school math before moving to Atlantic in 1963 to raise a family. In the early 1970s while working at the Cass County Extension office she continued her education, pursuing her master’s degree in political science and public administration. In 1975 she was elected to the office of Councilman at Large, the first woman to hold the position in the City of Atlantic. In 1977 she was on the board of directors for the FACT Foundation (For Atlantic Community Tomorrow), a community betterment group. For her leadership in the community, she was honored by Gov. Robert Ray, a distinction for which she was particularly proud. In 1978 she was appointed Cass County Treasurer. It was during this time she met her second husband, Claude “Sid” Winchell. They were married the following year on August 10, 1979.
In her 23 years in office, she served as President of the Iowa State Treasurer’s Association, and the Iowa State Association of Counties, and was a board member of Atlantic Municipal Utilities Commission. In 2002, the year she retired, she was awarded the National County Officer of the Year. After her retirement, she remained active in the community by volunteering at the Genealogy Center in Elk Horn, researching and writing reports tracing Danish ancestry as part of a National Archive.
At home, Sharon lived a quiet life. She was a devoted member of the United Methodist Church and loved to sing in the choir. She enjoyed playing bridge and visiting friends and extended family. Throughout her life, she maintained a love of learning and travel. Prior to entering hospice Sharon and Sid took many trips both locally and internationally including a trip to Jondal, Norway to visit her family’s ancestral home.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Harold, and Pearl Christensen; her second husband, Sid Winchell; her brother Marvin Christensen; and a son, Eric Brown.
Sharon is survived by her sister-in-law, Dorothy Christensen, and her son Rex; her first husband, Richard Brown; their children Chris (Debbie) Brown, and Steve Brown; her step-children Kevin (Julie) Winchell, Kelli Garret, Kim (Allen) Whiley, and Kris (Pat) O’Brien; grandchildren, Jennifer Brown, Tim Brown, Hunter Brown, Travis Garrett, Tyler (Jen) Whiley, Danni (Damon) Adams, Jim Henriksen, Christine (Jon) Bell, and Stephanie Winchell; and many great-grandchildren.
Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at First United Methodist Church in Atlantic, Iowa, interment will take place following the funeral and will be held at the Atlantic Catholic Cemetery. A luncheon will be held following the committal in the reception hall of the First United Methodist Church.
Open visitation with family present will be held from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., on Friday, March 3, 2023, at the Schmidt Family Funeral Home in Atlantic, Iowa.
In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Alzheimer’s Association or to the Good Samaritan Fund at Heritage House, and they may be mailed to the Schmidt Family Funeral Home P.O. Box 523, Atlantic, IA 50022.
Funeral arrangements are handled with the Schmidt Family Funeral Home of Atlantic, IA.
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