Pastor Gail Dean Winebrenner, 74, Syracuse, formerly of Albion, passed away on Friday, July 31, 2020, at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne. He was born on Nov. 11, 1945, the son of Paul M. and Evelyn M. (Starrett) Winebrenner in Wolf Lake. On June 20, 1964, he married Betty Jean Gregory at the First Presbyterian Church in Albion.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Winebrenner of Syracuse; two children, Tonya (Nathon) Becker of Ligonier, and Tamra (James Eric Jr.) Brattain of Fort Meyers, Fla.; five grandchildren, James Eric Brattain III, Ayden Brattain, Alyssa Brattain, Braydon Becker, and Jonathon Becker; and three siblings, Lois Mullinax of Robbinsville, NC, Dale (Marilyn) Winebrenner of Albion, and Paulette (Michael) McDonald of Syracuse.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Gail Dean Winebrenner Jr. on Oct. 29, 1981; and a sister, Connie May Winebrenner.
Pastor Dean graduated from Albion Jefferson High School in 1964 and from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College with a Bachelor’s degree in pastoral care and evangelism in 1987. He also graduated from IPFW with a management degree. Pastor Dean was a church planter and labored for the Lord in various towns in Michigan and Indiana.
He was a member of Northridge Baptist Church in Fort Wayne for over 30 years, and was currently a member of Colonial Oaks Baptist Church in Sarasota, FL. He raced dirt bikes for many years and traveled across the United States with Betty on motorcycles. Pastor Dean was a member of the Christian Motorcycles Association, a proud member of the NRA, and a former member of the Lion’s Club in Albion. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, guns, and boxing in his high school years. More than anything he enjoyed being with his family.
Pastor Dean had a very strong work ethic and was bi-vocational. He always worked outside the church when he pastored. Pastor Dean worked for the Indiana State Highway Department, was a probation officer in Michigan, installed satellites, and held various part-time jobs.
He also worked for International Harvester in Fort Wayne, for 17 years and then Provena Sacred Heart in Avilla, until he retired.
A funeral service will be held in Pastor Dean’s honor at 3pm on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at Yeager Funeral Home, 1589 LIncolnway South; Ligonier, IN 46767. Pastor Doug Surber Sr. of Miami Shores Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio will officiate. Burial will follow at Merriam Christian Chapel Cemetery in Merriam.
Family and friends will be received from 1-3 p.m. prior to the service on Wednesday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the family.
Yeager Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.