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He was born on June 23, 1905.

100 years oldEdit

Shane Samuels wrote on June 15, 2005:

Wintrone, who celebrates his 100th birthday Thursday, June 23, 2005 has been dazzling residents at Knapp Haven Nursing Home for years with his shuffles and shakes. Although he moves about with the aid of a cane, he still sports the moves of a 70-year-old, or maybe even younger. Friends and family will help Wintrone celebrate his birthday Saturday, June 25, with an open house from 2 - 4 p.m. at Chetek Lutheran Church. He and his friends at Knapp Haven will celebrate the occasion Wednesday, June 22, at 2 p.m. Fortunately for Wintrone, he'll just be visiting the nursing home, as he still lives in the home on CTH D near Highway 53, in which he's been living since 1948. He lives with his daughter Mary, but doesn't require much extra assistance. In fact, he spends many of his daytime hours by himself at home watching baseball games and completing crossword puzzles. Chester drove until just last year. Now, Mary or his son Ray, who lives next door, take their father into town a couple times a week, often to visit friends at Knapp Haven. He also visits one of his best friends, Oscar Rasmussen, in Chetek, and the two buddies jabber back and forth in Norwegian. Wintrone was born north of Dallas near the New Scandinavia Church to Gustav and Palma Wintrone. Chester's grandfather, Tron, emigrated to the United States and homesteaded a farm north of Dallas, Chester says. Chester married Marie Schaaf in 1930. The couple had six children: Donna (Clare), Don, Ray, Mary, Palma (Linnerud), and Eugene. Chester says he remembers paying the doctor $30 per child for delivery, except for twins Donna and Don, who cost $35 for the unexpected dual delivery. Chester is proud of his nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, but admits that they are the one thing that test his memory. "Every time I try to count them, another one comes along," he jokes. When Chester was 20, he left his father's farm to work at the Plymouth automobile factory in Detroit. He operated a drill press in the crankshaft area of the plant.The Wintrone family lived in Hamtramck, Michigan, but frequented Chetek on vacation to visit relatives. In 1947 Chester's father lured the family back to the Chetek area to work on a farm that Gustav had acquired. But farming had changed since the days when Chester was laboring behind horse-drawn equipment, and he decided to try a different line of work. Wintrone says he held many odd jobs during his lifetime in Chetek, including working at the canning factory and making trunks, pool tables, suitcases and toboggans for Chetek Industries. Marie passed away in 1993, and Mary moved in to help care for her father. Chester has avoided any serious health problems to date. He had a prostate operation several years back and deals with some arthritis in his back, but he dismisses them as minor setbacks. "When you get that old you're bound to have something wrong," Chester points out. Wintrone's daughter Donna says her father's always had a good sense of humor, and is quick to offer a witty joke. "He tells a lot of funny stories," Donna smiles. "I don't know how he remembers them all or where he hears his jokes. "Chester says he has few regrets during his lifetime, although he says he wishes he could've gotten more of an education and landed better jobs. Wintrone actually progressed through the 10th grade in the Dallas country school, advancing much further than many country youngsters from his era. "I was lucky to make it through the eighth grade," Chester admits. His education has stuck with Chester for a century. He still recites poetry from Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe. Some of Wintrone's greatest thrills were witnessing the greatest baseball players of all time in action while living in Detroit. He saw the likes of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig and Hank Greenberg grace the diamond in Detroit. "We could get in to the outfield bleachers for 50 cents," Wintrone recalls. Chester reveals no secrets as how he made it to the century mark. "I live the same as anyone else," he claims. "Day in and day out. I love my neighbors, and I've always been a happy-go-lucky guy."


Chester Wintrone, 102, of Chetek died May 3 at Luther Midelfort Northland hospital in Barron. Funeral services were Tuesday afternoon at Chetek Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Guy Redfield officiating and burial at New Scandinavian Cemetery in the Town of Maple Grove. Mr. Wintrone was born June 23, 1905 to Gustave and Palma (Amundson) Wintrone in the Town of Maple Grove. His grandfather, Tron, had immigrated to the United States from Norway and homesteaded a farm near Dallas. When Mr. Wintrone was 20, he left his father's farm to work at the Plymouth automobile factory in Detroit, Mich. He married Marie Schaff on September 18, 1930, and they moved back to the Chetek area in 1947. Mr. Wintrone held many odd jobs including working at the canning factory and Chetek Industries. He enjoyed visiting residents at the Knapp Haven Nursing Home and cheered them with his little jig. Mr. Wintrone drove his car until he was almost 100 years old. He is survived by three sons, Ray of Chetek, Donald of Milwaukee and Eugene of Eau Claire; three daughters, Palma Linnerud of Raleigh, N.C., Mary Wintrone of Chetek and Donna Clare of Chippewa Falls; nine grandchildren ; and 17 great-grandchildren. Mr. Wintrone's wife, Marie, died in 1993. A great-grandson also preceded him in death.