Obituary for Winfred Fails
Winfred “Fred” Fails, 81, of Maumee , Ohio, died suddenly on May 7, 2017. He was born November 27, 1935 in Greenville, Alabama , son of the late Albert and Mary (Williams) Fails. He was preceded in death by 10 older brothers and sisters, Elizabeth Smith, Willie Frank, Dennis (Buddy), Zettie Bedgood, Eddie Lee, Jamie Mae Shaw, John Henry, Robert , Albert Louis, J.W.; and his wife Sarah (Spaudling). He is survived by Trudy Heintz Fails, his loving wife.
Winfred graduated from Greenville Training School and Jarvis Christian College in Tyler, Texas where he majored in biology and mathematics and was Senior Class President. He served in the Army Corps of Engineers and won awards as a sharpshooter. He later earned his Masters and Education Specialist degrees from the University of Toledo.
Mr. Fails began his 33-year teaching career in the Math Department at Waite High School, Toledo, the first African-American faculty member. Coaching basketball and chess were very important to him. He soon became active in the Toledo Federation of Teachers as a Board member and Vice-President. During this time he also taught Math at the University of Toledo. He was active many years with Upward Bound at U.T. and Lourdes University. Fred also taught in the Pre-Apprenticeship Program for the U.A.W. both in Ohio and Michigan. He tutored many struggling students at his garage - some of whom became professional athletes. Upon his retirement, he served on the Educational Community Alliance Credit Union Board (Toledo Public Schools Credit Union) for 22 years. He was Chairman of the Board for12 years.
Winfred loved fishing, especially on Lake Erie, Mitchell Bay, and the ponds in Greenville. Over the years, he enjoyed the company of many close buddies, especially James Martin, Milton McIntyre, Jr. and the late Chuck Baker. His garage was a busy gathering place for boaters, fisherman, and his many friends and relatives.
Mr. Fails was a devoted member of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was a founding member of the Senior Citizens Committee that built and assists the residents of the McKissick Senior Apartments. Winfred was an active member of the American Baptist Men.
Winfred’s two surviving sisters are Alberta Johnson of Greenville and Lena Pearl Thornton of Niagara Falls, New York. He is also survived by two daughters, Donetta (Keith) Harris of Toledo and Amelia Heintz Klippen (Ben) Johnson of Little Canada, Minnesota. He also is survived by two sons, Winfred Bernard (Charlotte) of Canton, Michigan and David Kendall (Lisa) of Bessemer, Alabama. His grandchildren include Keishandra Harris and Keith Harris of Toledo; Spencer Johnson and Genevieve Johnson of Little Canada; Winfred Bernard Fails II, of Atlanta, Georgia and Makayla Zhane’ Fails of Canton, Todd Porchia-Bray of Toledo and Kendall Christian of Toledo. Great grandchildren include Jaysean and twins, Nicole and Nicholas. He also is survived by a huge and loving extended family, including many close nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements are by The House of Day, Toledo. All services will be held at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 1502 North Detroit Avenue, Toledo, Ohio 43607. The Reverend James H. Willis Sr, will be officiating. Visitation is Friday, May 12 from 4 -8:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 13 from 11:00 a.m.- noon. Funeral services are at noon Saturday, followed by interment at Restlawn Memorial Park, Perrysburg, Ohio.
Memorials may be made to the Building Fund of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church.