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Life Story / Obituary
Throughout his life that spanned nearly a century, there was no one who met John Winslow and wasn’t incredibly blessed. He was generous beyond measure with both his time and his resources in ways both great and small. Jack was adventurous and fun-loving with an insatiable thirst to drink in as much of life as he could. A man of honor, convictions, and great wisdom, John accomplished so much of which to be proud, yet he was humble and eager to help others achieve greatness as well. Although he will be deeply missed, John’s family finds comfort in knowing that he has been reunited with the love of his life, and together they are dancing the night away once again.
With the end of WWI in 1918, America was recognized as a world leader for the first time and poised for greatness. We did not disappoint as we led the way in innovation that transformed the way we lived our everyday lives throughout the decade that is often recalled as the Roaring Twenties. This was the decade of radios, affordable cars, and motion pictures in both color and sound when Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb made baseball America’s favorite pastime. It was just as the calendar turned to welcome in 1920 that Joseph and Beatrice Winslow were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as January held the city of Detroit, Michigan, firmly in its grip. The big day finally arrived when the baby boy they named John Mathew made his arrival on January 26, 1920. His father worked as a railroad electrician while his mother was a homemaker, wife, and mother. While a young boy, John, or Jack as he was usually known, moved to Chicago. He remained there through his teen years before finally returning to Detroit.
Not to be forgotten during his years in school was Jack’s introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Marjorie Alma Valade, and they met when he was a teenager who came to the door of her family home as he was working as a door to door salesman selling sewing needles to help support his family. Jack had hopes of her accepting a date, however, he tried working his magic several times with no success. A bit later, Jack ran into her at her uncle’s ice cream parlor. He offered to walk Marjorie home that night, and it was then that she finally accepted his courting invitation. The rest is history as they say.
With a desire to establish a life together, Jack and Marjorie were married on January 17, 1942, but only after Jack made Marjorie wait over three hours after the wedding was to begin! As it turned out, Jack had overslept that morning. It goes without saying that Jack was a lucky man since Marjorie waited for him; although, she never let him live down the fact that he left her waiting. Over the years, this has become a family favorite story to share. Jack and Marjorie were blessed to welcome seven children including Ronald, Paul, John, Vincent, Henry, Kevin, and Marjorie into their hearts and home.
As a young newlywed, Jack joined the Army/Air Force on August 12, 1943. He served as a pilot and navigator for the United States Troop Command during World War II. In recognition of his service, Jack earned the American Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
After being honorably discharged in 1946, Jack attended Marietta College in Ohio. With his education behind him after graduating from college, Jack worked for Transmission & Gear. While there, he continued his education by attending classes for HVAC&R at Cass Tech. He became an HVAC&R technician, graduating from Cass Tech. Jack eventually established his own business, Effective Temperature Control, which he owned and operated for many years before becoming a manufacturer’s sales representative in the same industry. Jack represented many major manufacturers in the global and U.S. market. In fact, Jack was the first Bitzer (compressor manufacturer) and Rilo (leak detection equipment) importer to the United States. During his time as a manufacturer’s representative, Jack started the John M. Winslow Company where he designed and manufactured his own HVAC&R tools. During Mayor Cobo’s tenure, Jack was appointed to the Board of Examiners. In 1975, Jack purchased Downriver Refrigeration Supply Company (DRS), which expanded from one location to eight over the 40 years that Jack was president. Within the business world, Jack loved a good negotiation. Although he always let you think you were getting what you wanted out of the deal, that “wily business man” always did things his way in the end! Over time, Jack brought his sons and his grandchildren into the business, which is now succeeded by the next two generations of Winslows.
Throughout his life Jack was a bustle of activity. He traveled the world to places such as France, England, Switzerland, Germany, and China. Jack loved going to the Bahamas every year where he could satiate his love for sunbathing and relaxing, and he also loved to “bum around” Florida after all of his kids had finally left home. With all the traveling he did, Jack’s favorite way to travel was with no preset destination or plans. In addition, he was an avid reader who also loved his cars, old movies, The Rat Pack, and Fox News.
All who knew Jack would certainly agree that he was truly one of a kind. He was certainly known for his success in business, but he was equally a devoted family man. Jack was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandfather, and being surrounded by his family brought him great joy. His generous spirit was always prevalent in his family including the shopping sprees he took his granddaughters on when they were little - it was hard to tell who had more fun! If anyone needed anything, Jack was there, and he was never looking for recognition or praise. He and his beloved Marjorie exemplified what marriage is truly intended to be as they were soul mates, partners, and truly best friends. It was so easy to see that she was the love of Jack’s life, and he was deeply saddened with her death in 2001.
John Winslow was a man of courage, strength, and unwavering convictions. He remained true to himself and the things he believed in, which was a primary factor in his success in every area of his life. Although generous, Jack was also humble, and he had a great sense of humor and a quick wit that continued well into his nineties. Deeply devoted to both his family and his business, it can be said that he was genuinely successful in both. Jack’s timeless legacy will be proudly carried on by those who follow in his footsteps.
John M. Winslow died on June 3, 2015. Jack’s family includes his children, Ronald, Paul (Carmen), Henry (Mary), and Kevin (Janice). 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and brother, Joseph (Joan). Jack was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie; His children John, Vincent, and Marjorie; and his siblings, Gwendolyn Wycoff, Delores, David, and James Winslow. Services were held at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home 30200 Five Mile Rd, Livonia, MI. Please sign the guest book and view John's life story at www.TurowskiLifeStory.com