Richard Lee Wink

Dick Wink took his final bow at 12:30 am, July 18, 2019. The show is over.

Richard Lee Wink, PhD, renowned leader in the Mansfield region's musical community, died on July 18, 2019 following an extended illness.

us flag

Dr. Wink was born on August 23, 1930 to Edward and Elizabeth Darnell Wink in Fairbury, IL. When he was 13, his family moved to Findlay, Ohio which he always considered his hometown and where he found one of the key inspirations of his life in Doc Jones, the Findlay High School Choir director.

While in high school, Dick and two friends decided there needed to be male cheerleaders to boost school spirit. That initiative led, no doubt, to the 1948 state championship season that included a celebratory parade down Main Street including Dick's 1931 Ford Roadster.

In 1950, he met the love of his life Jayma Sue Thompson at the High Hat teen hot spot in Findlay, while playing on a pinball machine. Apparently successful at flirting, he wooed her for a year of dating before he received his notice that the Army wanted his service.

After a year in Korea as a combat engineer, he returned to immediately marry his sweetheart and they settled in to family life, with Deborah Ann and Dayna Lynn following shortly thereafter. With Sue's support, Dick completed his masters' and PhD in music education at The Ohio State University as well as post graduate work at Indiana University.

He spent his early professional years teaching music at public schools in Northeastern Ohio and the Columbus area while pursuing his education. While in Worthington, he worked with an accomplished artist named Richard Phipps who inspired him to pick up a paint brush, which he never put down.

In 1966, he became an assistant professor of music at the brand new Ohio State University, Mansfield campus where he taught thousands of students and led the choral groups. Dick was the first faculty member at the Regional Campus to achieve the rank of Full Professor. In addition, he served for a more than 20 years in administrative leadership roles, including as associate dean and dean of the school before returning to teaching.

While there, he co-authored two editions of "An Invitation to Listening" with Lois Williams; "An Invitation to the Gallery", co-authored with Dick Phipps; and , authored "The McGraw Hill Museum Goers Guide". He retired from OSU in 1986. 

Wink was the founding director of the Mansfield Symphony Chorus and under his leadership, the Chorus grew in both size and skill. He launched the well-received Holiday Spectaculars. He reveled in adding performance surprises that delighted children and frequently upset orchestra members when confetti covered their instruments. Upon his retirement from the Symphony Chorus, he received the Person of the Year award.

He was among the community leaders who drove the development and renovation of the movie-showing Ohio Theater into the performance space Renaissance Theater. He served on the Board of Directors of the Mansfield Art Center for many years, serving as president for five.

Support Our Journalism

His greatest professional joy came from serving for 34 years as Chancel Choir Director at Mansfield's First Congregational Church. Over those years, this talented group of people from throughout the community came together to create inspiring sacred music, bringing beautiful harmony to hymns, anthems, and requiems. The people of this choir were very special to Dick, and he counted its members among his very dearest friends.

Dick was a lover of sports, playing golf regularly with his two brothers and lifelong best friends, Raymond and Robert. Those frequent golf outings featured great golf, bad golf, and even worse jokes. He looked forward to every round with these two men.

He was a member of the Rotary Club of Mansfield for many years, and a member of the Hermits Club of Mansfield for nearly 30 years. He was known for his enjoyment in presenting alternative points of view whenever he found himself in a group with a singular point of view.

Among his favorite roles was as a grandfather to Lizzie, Hayley, Annie, and Maggie. Every morning during their school years, his daughters Debbie and Dayna, who were both inspired to be teachers, would drop their children off at Grandma and Grandpa's and every morning, he would make them pancakes and take them all to school.

Dick Wink is survived by his life partner of 65 years, Sue Wink, daughters and sons-in-law, Debbie and Tim Hager, Dayna and Hank Thomas, grandchildren Hayley Bull and her husband Collin, Maggie Flockenzier, Elizabeth Thomas and finance` Michael Schroff, Annie Thomas, and great grandson RJ. In addition, he is survived by his brothers, Dr. Raymond E. Wink of Marion, Ohio and his children, Julie (Ron) Sayre, David (Kathy) Wink, Joe (Kristi) Wink and Fritz (Kerry) Wink and C. Robert Wink of Worthington, Ohio and his children Jon (Kathy) Wink and Amy Wink; as well as his Darnell family of Findlay, Ohio.

A celebration of Dick Wink's life and legacy is planned for Friday, August 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm at Mansfield's First Congregational Church, 640 Millsboro Road, Mansfield, Ohio 44903. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Chancel Choir program at the First Congregational Church. The Ontario Home of Wappner Funeral Directors is honored to serve the Wink family. 

Words of comfort may be expressed to the family at

Sign A Guestbook

Offer a personal message of sympathy...

By sharing a fond memory or writing a kind tribute, you will be providing a comforting keepsake to those in mourning. If you have an existing account with this site, you may log in with that below. Otherwise, you can create an account by clicking on the Log in button below, and then register to create your account.

(0) entries

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.