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OBIT: Thomas “Tom” Winterink

Thomas C. Winterink, entrepreneur and developer of Red Cedar Lodge in Charles City, Iowa passed away October 17, 2022.

Thomas C. Winterink, entrepreneur and developer of Red Cedar Lodge in Charles City, Iowa passed away October 17, 2022.

Tom’s life will be honored with a funeral officiated by Pastor Russ Leeper at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, 200 S. Main Street, Charles City, Iowa at 11 AM on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. Visitation with the family will be held an hour prior to the funeral at 10 AM.

Tom was born in Charles City, Iowa to Jack and Nita Winterink on September 29, 1952. Growing up the youngest with Linda, and Ellyn, he spent his youth boating and skiing the Cedar River, wrestling teams, and worked with his father, Jack at Triad Construction. He was married to Lorraine Kennedy for 34 years and lived in New Mexico, Virginia, California, and Arizona before moving home to Iowa. Together they enjoyed exploring their newly adopted home states, boating, camping and world travel adventures.

After graduating from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa in 1974 with degrees in Business and Economics, Tom worked in management for Burger King Corporation, Cork N’ Cleaver, and International Dairy Queen. Tom’s 30-year career at International Dairy Queen ranged from District Manager to Regional Director of Operations of Dairy Queen and Golden Skillet. He enjoyed mentoring his District Managers to be among the best in the country which earned he and his team members many Top of the Field Awards and promotions.

Tom had a talent for understanding the synergy between restaurant operations, marketing, finance, and development which he applied when working with 300+ Dairy Queen and Golden Skillet franchisees. While Tom was the nicest guy, he also expected his franchisees to follow operational standards and closed countless substandard DQ restaurants in the Southwestern United States; an unpopular job but one which improved the overall business image, revenue, and investment for his franchisees.

In 2008, Tom applied his excellence in business standards to his own venture, Red Cedar Lodge. Designed, developed, and operated by Tom and Lorraine, they greeted guests from all over the world who came home to Iowa or were in search of a retreat to Iowa’s countryside along the Cedar River. The Red Cedar Lodge offered four beautiful log-sided vacation cabin rentals, as a recreational getaway for family fun, outdoor recreation, solitude, or wildlife viewing. A popular tradition among many families, Red Cedar Lodge became a tourism destination for Charles City and was awarded Iowa’s Outstanding Lodging in 2015 and a NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneur Award in 2019.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Jack Barton Winterink and Burnita Vastine Winterink. Family members who will miss him dearly are his wife, Lorraine Kennedy Winterink; daughter, Madison Lievrouw; son- in- law, Christian Lievrouw; and grandson, Liam Lievrouw. Also, his sister, Linda Winterink Kish; brother-in-law, Peter Kish; sister, Ellyn Winterink Dix; and niece, Carley Dix.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Saint John Evangelical Lutheran Church, 200 Main Street, Charles City, Iowa 50616.

The Winterink family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Tom’s doctors, nurses, and caregivers who touched his life the past year. We also want to thank those who worked with us at Red Cedar Lodge as you helped bring Tom’s dream to life!

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