School 14

Michael Richard Winther

October 22, 1959 ~ November 26, 2021 (age 62) 62 Years Old


Michael Richard Winther of Modesto, California went home to be with the Lord on November 26, 2021.  He was 62.  Born October 22, 1959 in Nampa, Idaho, he graduated from Nampa High School in 1978.  He met his wife and best friend, Mary Stanley, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and they were married in Bozeman, Montana in 1981.  He graduated from North Idaho College in 1980 and University of Idaho (Moscow) in 1982.  


He worked for several political campaigns before becoming the executive director of the Society for Handicapped of Stanislaus County (now Society for Disabilities) for nearly twenty years.  He ran his own business for payroll programming for over 36 years.  


In 2005, he pursued his love of teaching Biblical principles of government and society and founded the non-profit organization Institute for Principal Studies (IPS).  As a frequent speaker at conferences and conventions, he taught government, economics, and history to audiences throughout the country.  Through IPS, MIke also formed a private school debate league, Logus Forensics Association.


A debater since high school, Mike loved to coach debaters and, together with his wife, instructed over 500 students in Modesto Debate for the last 21 years.  He was one of the founders of Stoa USA, a homeschool speech and debate organization, and served on its board of directors.  


A faithful Christian, he was a member of Central Presbyterian Church in Ceres, California.  


His memory will be cherished by his wife, Mary, of 40 years, parents, Anthon Winther (Debbie) of Nampa, Joy Winther of Nampa, children Courtney Messer (Todd), Kelsey Winther (fiancé Nick), and Kyle Winther.  He loved and is loved by his six grandchildren Carly, Clayton, Caleb, Madelyn, Micah, and Titus.  


Remembrances may be made to the Institute for Principle Studies, P.O. Box 278, Modesto, CA 95353 or online at

A memorial service will be held at Big Valley Grace Community Church in Modesto, California on Thursday, December 16th, at 2:00pm.

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