Barbara Wintch, Charlie Alder are Candlelight recipients
By Suzanne Dean
EPHRAIM—A Manti resident who was described as “truly a versatile and renaissance woman” and a man said to have been “instrumental in making Ephraim the great place it is today” received Christmas candles at the Ephraim Middle School Candlelight Service last week.
The honors, given for a lifetime of service, went to Barbara Wintch, a retired teacher and former mayor of Manti, and Charley Alder, a veteran, businessman and volunteer in many community endeavors.
The candle presentations last Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Eccles Center came at the end of performances by middle school music groups, including a music appreciation class, the
seventh grade orchestra, the seventh grade band, the eighth grade band and a jazz band.
Leading the different groups were instructors Laurie Allen, Lisa Murray and Josh Rasmussen.
Selections ranged from a medley from the “Nutcracker Suite” to a jazzy piece titled “Jing, Jing Jingle” that Rasmussen said was often performed by the late Benny Goodman.
After the performances, 22 students, certainly one of the larger honor classes in the nearly 70-year history of Candlelight, were introduced. All of the students had 4.0 grade-point averages (straight As) through sixth and seventh grades.
In the Candlelight Service, the candles represent the light and love of Christ. The recipients represent people who, following Christ’s example, have extended love and service to others.
After lights were dimmed and before the candles were presented, a special group described as the “Candlelight Chorus” sang a song titled “Carry Candles to the Manger.”
Then various honor students participated in reciting a poem that, by tradition, is read each year; lighting candles; announcing the names of recipients; and reading tributes to the recipients.
According to the tribute read at the program, Wintch grew up in Orem but has lived in Manti since she married John Wintch in 1967.
She graduated from Utah State University and taught English for 20 years at Ephraim Middle School where, according to the tribute, she “touched many lives.” One of her projects was a seventh grade cookbook, still used in many local collections.
She served on the Manti City Council for six years and as mayor for four years. As mayor, she upgraded streets and got the ball rolling on restoration of what is now known as the Old Historic Manti City Hall.
She served as president of the Manti Ladies Literary Club, and as ward Relief Society president and Young Women’s president in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She and her husband also served a full-time mission to Billings, Mont. in 2014-15.
Wintch has been a partner with her husband in the Wintch Livestock Company her whole married life. The tribute read at the Candlelight service said, “She can dock sheep, brand and tag cattle or mend fences with the best of them.”
She is know for offering words or tokens of friendship and encouragement. “If someone is feeling under the weather, a loaf of her homemade bread may reach their door. If someone has recently moved into the neighborhood, perhaps some fresh cinnamon rolls will welcome them.
“It’s not uncommon for a bushel of apples or other seasonal fruit, a beef roast or lamb chops to find their way into homes.”
Barbara and John Wintch are parents of six children and have 24 grandchildren.
Charlie Alder was born in Ephraim. He attended Ephraim Elementary, Ephraim Junior High and Manti High School. According to the tribute read at the Candlelight program, “He is still a proud Templar.”
He played basketball at Manti High and was named a region all-star at a time when there were only two divisions in Utah high
school sports. According to the tribute, he has shared his love of basketball with all of his grandchildren.
He enrolled in Snow College, but his studies were cut short when, in 1965, he was drafted into the Army. He became a member of the 101st Airborne Division and was sent to Vietnam.
In June, 1966, he was wounded in Viet Cong territory. After several weeks in a field hospital, he was sent to Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colo. where he spent two years recovering from his injuries.
After his release from the Army, he returned to Ephraim and married his wife, Theressa.
He fulfilled a boyhood dream of owning a restaurant when he purchased a drive-in on the south end of Ephraim and named it Charley’s Drive-in. He and Theressa ran it for 25 years.
“Many young people worked for them, and he became their mentor and friend, teaching them that work could be fun,” the tribute said.
He served as president of the Ephraim Businessmen’s Association and later served on the board of the Ephraim Chamber of Commerce.
He started Ephraim Christmas celebration, including the light parade; the Lion’s Club breakfast at the Scandinavian Heritage Festival; and the annual Easter egg hunt. He has supported Snow College athletics by being a Badger Booster.
Charlie and Theressa Alder have three children and 10 grandchildren.