Chad Edgar Winterhof
- October 13, 2023
Chad Edgar Winterhof
Chad Edgar Winterhof, 45, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Oct. 3, 2023, at the Oldorf Hospice House in Hiawatha, Iowa, after an inspirational 30 month thriving battle with grade four brain cancer.
On Oct. 19, a visitation will be held at the Cedar Memorial Chapel Stateroom starting with family from 3 to 4 p.m., and then open to others from 4 to 7 p.m. Another visitation option will be held the next day, Oct. 20, from 10 to 11 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, before Chad’s Celebration of Life funeral service at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon reception. A private ceremony will be held at a later date to bury Chad’s ashes.
Chad was born March 14, 1978, in Harlan, Iowa, to Warren and Nancy Winterhof. He married the love of his life, Jennifer Flaherty, on Nov. 21, 2009, with whom he built a beautiful family including daughter, Brenna, son, James, and beloved pet, Frankie.
Chad will be deeply missed by his parents; wife; children; as well as his siblings, Brent (Theresa) Winterhof of Center Point, Iowa, JoDee (Deena Fidas) Winterhof of Washington, D.C., and Adam (Katie) Winterhof of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; nieces, Lux, Grace, Carolyn and Lillah; and nephews, Gavin, Colin, Logan and Will. Chad was close with all his aunts, uncles, cousins and great-niece and great-nephews; he is also remembered by Denny and Jan Flaherty of Pocahontas, Iowa; his brothers-in-law; and numerous other family, neighbors, colleagues and friends from all over the world.
Chad was preceded by his grandparents, Edgar and Irene Winterhof and James and Persis Coalter; uncle, Kenny and aunt, Judy Winterhof; as well as aunt, Jan Winterhof.
Chad was proud to be part of the Walnut High School Class of 1996, where he developed lifelong friends and was involved in many activities like: playing football, baseball, basketball, running track, participating in speech and playing the saxophone. One of his most notable school projects highlighted his acting skills and earned him his everlasting nickname, “Wad.”
He graduated in 2001 from Iowa State University with an engineering degree. He was a member and forever brother at Beta Sigma Psi Epsilon. As an undergrad, Chad helped grow the Chapter from the verge of closing, to one of the strongest on campus. As a homecoming chairman, he also won a Greek Week competition. Chad continued to serve on the Ames Alumni Board from graduation until 2012 during which he helped lead a campaign to purchase a new chapter house, make improvements, and be mortgage free until 2019. His campaign led the foundation to implement the existing database and communication system that keeps over 800 “Beta Sigs” connected with the Chapter house today. From 2000-2002, Chad served as regional vice president with assigned Chapters Zeta (Kansas State), Eta (University of Missouri – Rolla) and Iota (University of Missouri – Columbia); and from 2002-2004, he continued to lead as the president of Beta Sigma Psi National Lutheran Fraternity.
After graduating, Chad started his lifelong career as a technical leader at Collins Aerospace with a passion for innovative technology. As an engineer, he worked on advanced military datalinks, successfully leading many critical programs and delivering solutions, enabling secure communications across the U.S. Armed Forces. Chad continued his work while battling his illness to the very end. His determination and enthusiasm is an inspiration to all who worked with him. He was a team member who didn’t take “no” for an answer, and in his own words, “Solved hard problems and made the impossible – possible.”
Chad could find paths over the biggest mountains. He constantly described himself as a “successful underdog,” believing God prepared him his whole life for his courageous fight against cancer. He called it, “The gift of cancer.” Extending his skills and talents after being diagnosed with glioblastoma, Chad took his destiny into his own hands. He dedicated the last 2.5 years of his life on the frontlines of cancer working with the University of Iowa to create the “Golden Halo,” a new medical device which would be used to help treat his own disease and advance knowledge and treatments for other patients. Chad was selfless, generous and optimistic. He gave hope to many, fought for others and spread his mission to leave a legacy of compassion to help the next person.
Chad knew how to have fun, connect with others and do good. Chad was an active member at King of Kings Lutheran Church, and when he first moved to Cedar Rapids, was an admired youth group minister. He was a dedicated ISU alumni always cheering for the Cyclones. Some of his favorite memories include traveling, skiing, teaching Brenna how to pitch, coaching James’ baseball and football teams, dates with Jenni and listening to music – preferably live concerts! An apple fritter, prime rib, porter or old fashioned made him smile. He loved spending time surrounded by family and friends which he was able to do until the very moment he passed. Chad’s life and journey was full of love. His humor was dry, determination was unmatched, fight was exceptionally brave and his kindness continues to spread indefinitely.
Chad questioned and challenged us to think; if everyone “takes care,” who will “give it”? To honor Chad, we encourage all to live by his words to “be kind and give care.”
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to “The Benefit of Chad and Jennifer Winterhof” at any Collins Community Credit Union. Condolences can be left at www.cedarmemorial.com.