David Michael Winch

Class of 1953

In Memoriam

Below is the death notice of David Winch, Class of 1953. Please keep the Winch family in your prayers.

Beloved Husband, Father and Grandfather, formerly of Kalamazoo, Michigan passed away suddenly on Monday, October 7, 2013 near his home in Taos, NM, at the age of 78. David was born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 27, 1935 to John and May Winch. His parents and brother, John, preceded him in death. He leaves behind, to hold him close in love and memory, his wife, Suzanne, whom he married on October 8, 1982 in Kalamazoo, and their children: Michael Winch, Janet (Winch) McBarnes, Martin Winch, Douglas Winch (Lisa), Kenneth Winch, Robert Kuiper, Shelli Kuiper, Joseph Kuiper (Kim). His beloved son, Robert Winch preceded him in death in 1978. Surviving are 12 grandchildren: Brandi Winch, Amanda Winch, Matthew Low (Heather), Kristin (McBarnes) Blair (Sean), Lindsy (McBarnes) Matteoni, Madison McBarnes, Autumn Winch, Oscar Winch, Kelsey (Kuiper) Rice (John), Justin Kuiper, Sarah Kuiper and Derek Kuiper; great-grandchildren: Carlee Low, Jermaine Low, Darius Low, Charles Low, Avery Matteoni, and Lily Blair; many friends and professional associates. David received a BS (1957) and MS (1962) from John Carroll University in Cleveland, and a PhD in Physics (1967) from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. His career began at NASA, where he worked for four years as a research scientist at the Lewis Research Center in Cleveland. He left NASA to pursue a career in teaching. After earning his PhD in 1967, David took a position as a Professor of Physics at Kalamazoo College, a position he held until 2002. David found a way to integrate teaching and his love of the outdoors during his work at Kalamazoo College. He served as Director of the College's wilderness education program, known as Land/Sea, (modeled after Outward Bound) from 1976 to 1991, during which freshmen students spend a month learning survival and life skills while camping and sailing in the Great Lakes and Canada. One of David's passions as a teacher was helping to improve the educational experiences of high school and college students. This was reflected in his involvement with the founding of the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, for which he served as Director of the Advisory Committee from 1985 to 1996. This passion was also reflected in David's many years of work developing award-winning computer software to aid science teachers with teaching and visually demonstrating physics and science principles to students. One such program, called Bicycle Physics, funded by the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Education, focused on the bicycle and used visual demonstrations to teach the engineering and biomechanical principles of cycling. Another program, called Guilty or Innocent? required the student to use physics principles to determine who was to blame in a
simulated car accident. This program won first prize in the 1983 International Computer
Ed Game Challenge, and was awarded best educational software in 1988 by Apple, Macworld. David was eager to share his experiences and knowledge with other science teachers. Through grants from the National Science Foundation, American Association of Physics Teachers, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, and others, David published numerous articles, and gave presentations to faculty around the country about the use of computer simulations and other new technologies to teach physics. He also served as Education Department Editor for Computing and Science
and Engineering from 2004-06. Throughout his career, he collaborated often with longtime friends, including the late Dr. Robert Fuller, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and Dr. Norman Chonacky, Yale University, Department of Applied Physics. David retired from Kalamazoo College in 2001, after 34 years of teaching. After visiting and falling in love with Taos, NM in 1987, David and Suzanne decided to build their retirement home there, and moved to Taos in the summer of 2002, where David enjoyed the beauty of his surroundings, and his views of Taos Mountain; daily biking and cross-country skiing. In between these adventures and numerous travels here and abroad, he took time to contribute to community and neighborhood interests by serving on
the neighborhood association board, including serving as board president for a number of years. David had a life-long love of the outdoors. He enjoyed camping, biking, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, basketball and cross-country skiing. He only drove a car when absolutely necessary, preferring instead to ride his bike nearly everywhere he went, including the 15-mile round-trip to the college almost every day, regardless of weather conditions. He so enjoyed working on the outside of the house; planting trees and cultivating poppies, tulips and mums. His view of Taos Mountain from his desk at sunrise thrilled him. He found joy and serenity in the simplicity and untamed landscape of Taos, never failing to notice a point of interest as he went about his daily routine, or a quirk of culture that made him smile. So it was that with Suzanne at his side they built an enchanting life together in the "Land of Enchantment". While enjoying the activity he so loved - on his bicycle and surrounded by the beauty of his beloved adopted town of Taos, he left us. But David's humility, kindness, gentle nature and generosity of spirit will be lovingly remembered, always with us, and forever missed. A Memorial service will be held Sunday, October 20, 2013 at Kalamazoo College Stetson Chapel at 1:30 pm with reception immediately following in Olmstead Room. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Red Cross, C.A.R.E., or the charity of your choice.

Posted on: July 27, 2022

You can view a list of all St. Ed's Alumni who have passed away on our website.

David Michael Winch

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matt stepnowsky teaching a class