Arthur C. Winjum Jr.

Published 6:18 am Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Arthur C. Winjum Jr.

Arthur Winjum passed away June 2, 2024 at St. John’s Lutheran Community of Albert Lea. He was 77 years old.

Arthur C. Winjum Jr.

Arthur Clifford Winjum Jr. was born October 17, 1946, at Albert Lea, Minnesota to parents Arthur C. Winjum Sr. and Beatrice Bell Winjum. Arthur, known as Art to his friends, and Bud to his family; was raised on a farm in Bancroft Township north of Albert Lea.

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Art was baptized and confirmed at the Central Freeborn Lutheran Church of rural Albert Lea. He attended the old Hammer School with his older sister, cousins and neighbors. It was a two-room country school where he received a solid education. He later attended Albert Lea High School but dropped out before graduating. He detested writing book reports, which he felt were redundantly useless.

Art went on to study auto body repair at Austin Vocational School. After graduating from the program, he worked at Dibble Auto for several years. He was often called upon to do car repair for family and friends because he did excellent work (with no expectation of payment).

Art lived in Austin for several years. For a time, he was co-partner of the Idle Hour Inn. This was somewhat out of character for Art, as he was not overtly social. He was actually a very private person.

In his later career, he worked for brother-in-law Bruce Ulland doing building and remodeling. Art was a creative thinker. He could “MacGyver” most any problem, with function always being more important than fancy.

Art never married, but was the cool uncle to Rita, Kelli, Randy, Grace, Tim, Stuart, Peggy and Sara. He delighted his nieces and nephews with acoustic and electric guitar music. They would urge him “Louder! Crank it up Buddy!” He would oblige with some riffs until the farmhouse windows rattled. He taught them how to build aerodynamic paper planes and magnificent Lincoln Log structures. He was infinitely patient when his young nieces wanted to play Barbie dolls while he was trying to watch a National Geographic special. He drove a motorcycle, owned a Mercury Cougar with a top-of-the-line 8 track system and ultimately sported a bright orange Pontiac GTO Judge. He was definitely cool.

Art was an avid sportsman. He enjoyed many fishing, hunting and camping trips with his friends. A highlight in particular was a Wilderness Horse and Mule Pack-In trip to the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho with long-time friend Mike Beaver. Art was a member of the Oak Grove Gun Club and held great admiration for expert marksmanship. He had many close friendships in the club.

Art was proud of his 100% Norwegian-American heritage. He liked talking about the historic Winjum Family Cabin at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds. He liked Norwegian comfort foods. A cup of coffee and buttered lefse helped smooth over the rough days.

Art’s best years were spent on an acreage near New Richland. He enjoyed quiet days working on projects; being outdoors and living life on his own schedule. He often referred to this home as his Paradise.

Sadly, his retirement years were cut short by the diagnosis of Inclusion Body Myositis, a rare, degenerative muscle disease. The condition robbed him of his independence and mobility. He fought the disease on his terms. He set up a daily exercise program to remain as independent as possible. He did daily word search puzzles to keep his mind alert and he followed current events. He learned to use a computer tablet and made play lists of his favorite music. He maintained a lifelong love of music. Art watched a daily lineup of retro tv Westerns. He preferred the old shows because “You know the good guy always wins in the end.” Art was one of the good guys.

Art was preceded in death by his infant brother Ted, his parents, brother-in-law Bruce Ulland, sister-in-law Cela Winjum, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. He dearly missed his special friend Darryl (Nig) Lee and landlord Joyce Reese.

Art is survived by a brother Tom, sisters Sharon Ulland, and Elaine (Ray) King. Art is also survived by many nieces and nephews, cousins and additionally special friends Zach Bell, Mike Beaver, Jack Bejerk and Lori and Randy Tuchtenhagen.

Art did not want a funeral service. The outdoors was his church. He requested that his ashes be spread over a remote lake in northern Minnesota.

The family wishes to thank St. John’s Woodlands staff for their daily dedication and concern for Art’s needs. Every act of kindness was felt and appreciated. Also, our sincere gratitude to St. Croix Hospice for their immediate response and compassionate care.