Donald Lee Winders
12/28/1934 - 05/28/2019
Donald Lee Winders passed away at the age of 84 on the evening of May 28, 2019. Don was born on December 28, 1934, in Bloomington, Illinois, the only child of Russell John Winders and Mary Lee Henley Winders. His father was a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Minister and served in many churches throughout the Midwest. They moved to Bellingham, Washington, when Don was just a young boy. Don graduated in 1952 from Auburn Academy, an SDA boarding high school, located in Auburn, Washington, and went on to further his education at Walla Walla University in Walla Walla, Washington, where he majored in Theology. Growing up as the son of an SDA minister, he experienced the adventure of numerous moves as his father was called to serve in many churches throughout the United States. In 1954, his family moved to Alhambra, California where Don completed his last two years of college at La Sierra University, located in Riverside, California. It was there that he met and married Beverly Arleta Paxton in 1956 and they began their life together.
Their first move was to Washington, DC where Don began his graduate studies at The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary where he received a Master’s degree in Bible and Systematic Theology. Like his father before him, he served in many SDA churches throughout the West and Northwest. His final pastoral assignment was Senior Pastor of the Worthington SDA church in Worthington, Ohio.
Don and Beverly were divorced in 1974 at which time he returned to Southern California to take further graduate work. While working full time at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center (GAMC), he received a Master’s degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University, School of Public Health and Post-graduate Study in Educational Diagnosis and Evaluation in Public Health and Medical Care Programs from the University of California, Berkeley. He also received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and became the Director of Health Education & Medical Services at the GAMC. He later worked at Torrance Memorial Hospital in Torrance, California as the Clinical Psychologist for the weight program and eventually set up his own private practice.
In 1990 he married the love of his life, Norma Beegle Hilliard, who he met while attending La Sierra University in 1954. Both families remained friends through the years and when the time was right, God brought them together in a loving bond of marriage and were blessed with 29 wonderful years together.
Upon retirement in 2005, he and Norma moved to Riverton, Utah where he enjoyed their home and working on their two acres of lawn and fruit trees. Included was the bonus of a perfect view of the Wasatch mountain range where he found peace and contentment.
Retirement gave him the opportunity to pursue his deep study of the Bible and his curiosity led him to branch into studying the intricacies of the brain and how it was the avenue through which man and God communicate. He never stopped reading, researching and studying – always enjoyed thinking outside the box. His many research papers were always an inspiration to those who were fortunate to read them and dialogue with him. His passion for learning was unsurpassed.
As a pastor and clinical psychologist, he was always willing to give counsel and guidance to those who reached out for help. He was truly an amazing father and loving husband and will leave a huge hole in our hearts. We look forward to being together again when Jesus comes to claim His own.
Left to grieve his passing are his wife Norma, his daughter Sherri Donnell Meachum, sons Russell Jerold Winders and Randall Joseph Winders (Jennifer); stepchildren, Susan Renee Hilliard and Jeffrey Scott Hilliard (Debra), as well as two grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, six step-grandchildren, and three step-great grandchildren.
Don’t Cry For Me
Don’t cry for me, I will be okay.
Heaven is my home now, and this is where I’ll stay.
Don’t cry for me. It was just my time,
but I will see you someday on the other side.
Don’t cry for me. I am not alone.
The angels are with me to welcome me home.
Don’t cry for me, for I have no fear.
All my pain is gone, and Jesus took my tears.
Don’t cry for me. This is not the end.
I’ll be waiting here for you when we meet again.
–Don’s wish for his family
“I’ll see you in the morning, my love, my life, my everything.”
Forever your loving wife, Norma.