?You can safely say he is a legend?

From his helping hand to his caring heart, Earl Wineinger put

everything he had into his work.

Wineinger, Hillsboro High School vocational agriculture

died May 30 in Marion following two operations.

He was 62.

A Marion resident, Wineinger had taught at HHS for 10 years and

been in education for 38 years, including stints at Marion High

and Kansas State University.

?He had a big impact on kids,? said Glen Suppes, HHS principal.

had kids who would come in in the morning and after school and

out in his room and feed the animals. He was like a father or a

grandfather. Everyone knew he had a big heart.?

Suppes said Wineinger made his area a safe haven for students. He

a lot of at-risk students excelled because they had some place

could go.

Wineinger?s son, Ron, said his father was able to motivate average

students to do better than they ever thought they could.

Said Suppes: ?His classes were really popular and we couldn?t

them all in a year.?

Among the subjects Wineinger taught were Introduction to

Natural Resources, Horticulture, Ag Management, Ag Business, Ag

Marketing and Sales, Ag Mechanics I and II, Plant and Soil, Small

Animal Science, Animal Science and Entomology.

Wineinger?s wife, Mary Lee, said her husband felt the most

thing a teacher could do was to encourage students to do their

Suppes said Wineinger liked quality even though he didn?t always

it from all of his students. He simply wanted students to respect

another in class and to learn.

?To a lot of kids he was their favorite teacher,? he said.

?He taught me a lot about caring for others,? said Emily Diener,

student advisor and past FFA president. ?He always put students

He would stop what he was doing and help us.?

She said being in FFA and Wineinger?s positive outlook pushed her

toward an agriculture-related field.

?He was fun to be with,? she said. ?He let us do a lot of fun

and took a lot of field trips. He was really encouraging. If we

to do something, he would encourage us to do our best.?

Wineinger also took students on a number of field trips.

?He could have very easily, these last few years, sat behind his

and taught from the blackboard and said, ?We?re not going to go

today.? But he didn?t,? Suppes said. ?He drove that bus and said,

on it, let?s go.??

He said Wineinger knew learning took place outside the classroom,

where students could experience the real world.

In addition to his classes, Wineinger also was the FFA sponsor.

?We?ve been able to boast to having the largest FFA chapter in the

state for many years,? Suppes said.

Wineinger, with the help of his wife, was the host at the national

conference for several years while it was held in Kansas City.

?One of the biggest undertakings was they ran the entire

Ron said. ?I think that was an example of putting kids first.?

Another favorite of Wineinger?s was the annual FFA banquet.

?He was pretty proud of that,? Suppes said. ?It was a big night.?

But he said Wineinger did not like recognition for what he did.

?He honestly didn?t like it,? Suppes said. ?He didn?t want to be

recognized. At the FFA banquet, he got kids going and sat in the


He also helped students succeed in competitions, including

championships, several state championships and one national


?He felt competitive events were important because when student
got to

compete, and if they did well, it built their confidence,? Ron

?I?m sure he did a lot of other little things for kids as well,?

Suppes said.

Suppes said there were two things Wineinger never turned in. He

turned in the names of misbehaving students to the office and he

didn?t turn in receipts from money he spent out of his own pocket.

Wineinger would pay for hotel rooms and food. Once, he even bought

FFA jacket for a student.

?Half of his paycheck, I think, came back to the school,? Suppes

In addition to money, he also spent a lot of time helping

?He would always give that extra hour if asked for it, whether it

during school time or not,? Mary Lee said. ?He would give up

and weekends if they were getting ready for something or

Mary Lee said she and her husband would go to the school and take

pot of chili to feed the students.

?He did what he wanted to do,? Suppes said. ?If he would have

he would have wanted to be here with the kids.?

Mary Lee said what mattered to her husband was working with the

students and seeing they did the best they could. It didn?t have
to be

FFA, either. It could be sports or any other interest they had.

She said he probably had a hand in helping students choose careers

?and it didn?t have to be in vocational agriculture.

?A lot of people look at the program and want to be a part of it

because of what he?s done with it, but there?ll never be another

Wineinger,? Suppes said. ?I think you can safely say he is a

Suppes said everyone respected Wineinger. He didn?t bother anyone

knew how to use his community resources. Wineinger would tone down

staff meetings?not with words, but by his presence.

?He would rarely talk,? Suppes said. ?In fact, he didn?t talk at

unless he was asked a question.?

No matter what was being discussed, Wineinger would say it didn?t

matter to him. He would do whatever was asked of him.

His love for young people extended beyond his students to his

and grandchildren as well.

?He dearly loved his children and grandchildren,? Mary Lee said.

The Wineingers have three children and four grandchildren: Robin

Richmond and husband Tim of Marion and their daughter Misti; Matt

his wife Judy of Wichita and their daughter Abby; and Ron and his

Tami of Fort Collins, Colo., and their children Elizabeth and

He also is survived by a sister, Fern Davis and husband Allen; a

brother, Max and wife Virginia of Norwich; and several nieces and


?He knew a lot of people in the community, but he left his mark in

other places, too, not just Hillsboro,? Suppes said.

Suppes said Wineinger had been fighting his health the last couple

years, although no one really knew to what degree.

?He was hurting a lot more than people knew,? he said. ?That?s
just my

view of it.?

Wineinger recently had entred the hospital for a routine

because he wasn?t feeling well, Suppes said.

?I think it was just a combination of things,? he said.

Services were held June 3 at Florence Christian Church, w

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