Winn Family

Nila Winn (from left) stands with her siblings Nick Winn, Darice Winn Lewis and Frank Winn during a luncheon on the Polk County Campus on Friday, Dec. 11 after they made a donation through the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Foundation to establish a food pantry and endowment scholarship in their father’s name.

The children of the late Tallapoosa Superior Court Judge Dan Peace Winn have established an endownment scholarship in his name through the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Foundation.

The gift from Darice Winn Lewis and siblings Frank, Nick and Nila Winn also sets up a food pantry on the Polk County Campus in Rockmart.

“Our dad had a passion for local youth and students,” Lewis said. “We wanted to do something to honor our father’s legacy and help local students.”

Judge Winn passed away on May 10, 2016, at the age of 94.

The food pantry will be available for all students. It will be the the third food pantry established on a GNTC campus this year. Lauretta Hannon, director of institutional advancement, said students are already signing up for visits.

The endowment scholarship will earn interest and, in time, fund scholarships for GNTC students from Polk County or with a strong Polk County connection.

“This is such a special way to keep his legacy going,” said Hannon. “We feel such gratitude for this gift which will keep giving for years to come.”

GNTC President Dr. Heidi Popham thanked the donors at a small luncheon at the Polk County Campus on Friday, Dec. 11. She also recognized Lewis for her 21 years of service at the college.

“The creation of an endowed scholarship means that students will benefit for generations to come,” said Popham. “We are deeply grateful for the generosity of the Winn Family and their commitment to education and Polk County.”

Judge Winn entered the military service as a naval aviation cadet in November 1942 and graduated as second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Air Corps. He served during World War II in the Marianas Islands and flew night fighter missions out of Guam. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medals.

Winn graduated from Emory University Law School in 1948 and moved to Cedartown a year later where he began practicing law. He served in several elected roles including solicitor for the City Court of Polk County as well as solicitor general for the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit. In 1966, he began serving as a Superior Court judge and was assigned to the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit, which includes Polk County.

Winn retired in 1988 and became a senior judge for the State of Georgia until his death in 2016.

“He was a real character,” said Frank Winn. “My favorite memory of him is actually my first when he was trying to teach me to water ski. He wouldn’t let me give up and made me keep practicing until I got it.”

Nila Winn described her father as a prankster, who would not hesitate to blame others if his pranks went awry. Her brother Nick said their father hated baseball caps worn indoors and scolded him for wearing one inside a pub during a trip to Ireland.

“People are not gone as long as we speak their names,” Hannon told the siblings during the luncheon. “Residents of Polk County are going to be saying the name Judge Dan Peace Winn for a long time to come.”

Students must make an appointment to visit one of the GNTC food pantries.

For the Floyd County Campus, contact Sonya Briscoe at; for the Polk County Campus, contact Donna Baldwin at; and for the Whitfield Murray Campus, contact Jan Lanier at

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