John G Wingfield was born in Norton, Kansas to Roy and Ona Wingfield. He grew up in Norton and met his future wife, Barbara Hubbard there. They were dance partners in high school competitions and performances. John played on the football, basketball, and track teams in school. He also worked as a linotype machine operator for the local paper after school. When he turned eighteen, in June of 1945, he enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the U.S.S Boston, a heavy cruiser, and the aircraft carrier Essex.
After the war, John studied at Kansas State University in Manhattan, majoring in chemical engineering. He worked in an oil field in Texas during one summer. He decided to change his major after that summer to grain science, where he majored in cereal chemistry. Upon graduation, John worked for several milling companies, including General Mills, and the Red Star Mill in Wichita. Most of his milling career was with Colorado Milling and Elevator in Denver, Colorado, where he and his wife Barbara, married in 1951, brought up their family. During his long milling career, John designed and oversaw the construction of several mills and productions plants.
John served as president of the Association of Operative Millers during 1965-66.
In 1968 John and his family moved to Seattle to work as a corporate engineer for Univar Corp, designing an automated warehouse in San Francisco among his many accomplishments. In 1971, John was appointed vice president of Centennial Mills, a division of Univar in Portland, Oregon. John found it rewarding to work in an industry that provided basic necessities to the population. He retired from Centennial Mills in 1976 to teach at his alma mater, K-State, in the grain science department. While teaching, he earned his master’s degree in 1979. He was appointed associate professor in 1981. He retired from teaching in 1990.
John travelled all over the world while teaching at K-State, as an adviser for U. S. Wheat Associates. John also wrote many papers while teaching, and a book, A Dictionary of Milling Terms and Equipment.
John was baptized in his teens. His faith was important to him his whole life. John served as an elder in the First Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, Kansas. He wrote several devotional books on the Christian faith.
John’s first wife, Barbara, died in 1994 after forty-three years of marriage. He was remarried to Veon Woodfin afterward for twelve years before she, too, passed away. They lived happily together in Laguna Woods, California. After Vee’s death, John returned to Kansas. He remarried again, to Norma Hubbard, who passed away in 2019, after many years of happiness together. Norma’s children by her first husband, Rex Hubbard, Ronald, Richard, Elizabeth, and Lisa were very close to him, as were their children.
John is survived by two children, William and his wife Vickie of Wellington, Kansas, and Diane Wingfield and her husband David Nixon of Los Altos, California.
John’s grandchildren are Amy Lyle and her husband Jonathan of Santa Rosa, California, and Elizabeth Oldag and her husband Andrew of Bellevue, Washington, Vanessa and Aaron Wingfield of Wellington. He has four great- grandchildren, Camden and Marian Lyle, and Autumn and Penelope Oldag, great-grandchildren. He has a step-grandson Mike Nixon with his wife Becky with their children Ana, Alex and Robby; and a step-granddaughter Kate Beck with her husband Jim, with their children: Josie and Rory.
After his retirement from K-State, John continued work on several large projects, including a book about old grist ills in Kansas, and another about ghost towns in Kansas. John was a member of the Wingfield Society. He found out through his daughter Diane’s extensive genealogy investigation, and DNA tests that he was descended from a Saxon family in Suffolk England, and that his mother’s ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, and were early pioneers in the central regions of our country. He loved his family and friends with a passion and was always ready with a warm smile for them, and for everyone. He will be missed very much by those who knew him.John Wingfield, 92, of Wellington, died May 28, 2020. Cremation has taken place and no services are scheduled. A memorial has been established with Lutheran Hour Ministries. Shelley Family Funeral Home of Wellington is in charge of arrangements.
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