Winch, John Earl Esworthy "Jack"
Passed away peacefully on March 31, 2020 at the age of 99. Predeceased by his loving wife of 52 years, Earla (Steep) 2005. Survived by his devoted daughters, Joann Germanakos (Bernie Waters), Christine Megaffin (Patrick) and Mary E. Libby (Andy). He will be missed by his loving grandchildren, Christopher LeMoine (Andrea Giesler), Joel LeMoine (Leigh-Anne Legault), Colby LeMoine (Kirstie Herbstreit), Michael LeMoine, Nadia LeMoine, Lawrence Libby (Andreea Musulan), Jasmine Libby (Spencer Scodellaro), Nigel Libby, step grandsons Dennis Megaffin and Daniel Megaffin (Melody Devries) and great grandchildren Charlie and Miles Herbstreit, Jack Shaw and Lily LeMoine and several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents Howard (1965) and Lydia (1980) and his siblings, Ruth Wall (Avery), Aubrey (Gwen), Helen Broughton (Gordon), Austin (Elsie) and Geraldine Roffey (Ken), and his son-in-law Tony Germanakos. Loved by his golden retriever/setter Shaun (1988).
Jack wore many hats during his long lifetime. He faithfully served his family, his country, his church, and his community.
Jack was a Flying Officer in the RCAF, serving as a wireless operator overseas in WWII from 1941-1945. Following the war, Jack returned home and attended the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, obtaining his Bachelor of Scientific Agriculture in 1951 and his masters in 1953 in Forage Crop Production and Breeding. Jack attended Cornell University in Ithaca NY and obtained his PhD in Agronomy in 1956. He began is tenure as a professor of Crop Science in 1958 at University of Guelph, teaching in the Diploma, Undergraduate and Graduate programs until his retirement in 1986. Additionally, Jack continually researched and published articles on forage production and plant physiology. Large farm acreages were established throughout Ontario as a result of his research on Birdsfoot Trefoil, and Crown Vetch became the major legume used for stabilization and as a "minimum maintenance" cover on the 400-series highways. Jack was a founding member and first President of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association (1975). His research and speaking engagements took him across the globe. He was recognized with many awards and accolades. After his retirement from the University of Guelph, Jack consulted with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to set up and monitor soils and livestock projects in China and Inner Mongolia. He remained on the project for five years.
Jack married Earla Steep on June 20, 1953 and settled in Guelph where they raised their family. Over the years, he served his local community as a Boy Scout leader, and as both a People’s Warden and Rector’s Warden at St. James Church. Jack was a dedicated member of several fraternal associations, actively serving in various roles. Highlights include his terms as Worshipful Master of Waverly Lodge from 1979-1980, and President of the Guelph and District Shrine Club in 1991.
In Jack’s later years, he travelled extensively with his wife. He also conducted extensive research on his family tree and, with the help of his family, published four volumes on the Winch family. He was extremely proud of the outcome, and his family.
Thank you to the dedicated staff of AR Goudie, PeopleCare, Kitchener for the care in his final years, and especially to Ruth and Rincy. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children or the Masonic Lodge of Ontario. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to GILCHRIST CHAPEL – McIntyre & Wilkie Funeral Home, One Delhi Street, Guelph, (519-824-0031). We invite you to leave your memories and donations online at: www.gilchristchapel.com and they will be forwarded to the family.