Marilyn Swift, Houghton Rotarian

“Winks Gundlach was one of my Father’s best friends. They were one year apart and grew up together in Houghton going to the same schools. When Winks got the idea in his head to let women in to Rotary, my Dad was very much against it. He voted no and our club missed being the 1st club in the country by a couple of weeks or months because of this ongoing battle between Winks and my Dad.

“When I moved back to Houghton from being gone for 20 years, Winks would ask me every year if I would join Rotary? I would always say, ‘Well, You know how my Dad feels about that!’

“Finally in 2003, I asked my dad about me joining Houghton Rotary and he said, ‘I don’t care, I’m not a member anymore!’ So the day of my first Rotary meeting, Dad came to it and of course we sat with Winks. He introduced me to the club and told wonderful stories about my Dad and his Father before him that had been Houghton Rotarians and he was so grateful that Dad had let me become a 3rd generation Rotarian.

“One of the things that I remember most about Winks was his story telling and his generosity. He could always tell the best stories, but he would always ask everyone in the room to share their experiences and not take the spotlight himself. He always showed interest in the least likely of people. He was so sincere all the time.

“I used to take many photos at family and social gatherings that he would be at. He made sure that he would grab my camera and take pictures with me in the photos also. Just a fine and generous gentleman. I would probably not be a Houghton Rotarian if it weren’t for Winks. I think of him often, he is surely missed.”