Old Time Lakewood Resident Hermann Winkelmann Passes Away

Herman WinkelmannAs first reported here in a previous article, a man was found dead on a NJ Transit bus this morning upon his arrival to Lakewood. The man has been identified as old time Lakewood resident Hermann Winkelmann. Hermann owned Chateau Grand as well as a liquor store and a lot of land. Twenty-five years ago he belonged to various civic organizations. A family friend told TLS “He was known as generous business man who helped and employed a lot of town people”. He also assisted the Lakewood Police Department get vests for their officers.

Hermann Winkelmann was born in Germany in 1942 and came to Lakewood in 1961, by himself. He went to work for a man who knew his father in Germany, a man who had a septic tank business. He bought his first acre of land when he was 21. At 24, he had his first butcher shop. Two years later, he bought the liquor store next door. Meanwhile, he continued to invest in land. He had a vision. In 1972, he opened his restaurant, 300 seats, with 40 stools at the bar. It became a popular place in town. Soon, he would expand. Eventually, he would need 185 employees to run this operation.

He had borrowed money from a local bank to expand his business. The bank, the largest in Ocean County at the time, eventually was subjected to a federal investigation and seized by regulators in 1991. A lot of good this did Winkelmann. By 1991, he had lost his business. Things went from bad to worse for Hermann and eventually ended up homeless.

Hermann died a proud man at the age of 66. He leaves behind a an ex-wife, one son-whose wife is expecting-one daughter, one sister and three brothers.

We would like to express our condolences to the family. He will be dearly missed.

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  1. I saw him last night sitting at the entrance to Chatue Grand.He use to own it many years ago.And it was taken away from him .That why he always made a macha there.He was a nice guy.But he had many problems. We will miss him dearly.

  2. I used to love Winkelmann’s Restaurant, back in the day when Lakewood actually had full scale restaurants. I always knew who Winkelmann was, but had the opportunity to talk with him at length when he showed up at a local soup kitchen I had worked at one day last year. Interesting fellow. A very nice old man. He was so proud of his restaurant and what he had once achieved in life. He carried around his photos and newspaper articles and would proudly show them to anyone who would be kind enough to listen.

  3. oh thats the guy who would live in the Chateau Grand parking lot, i always wondered what his deal was. whats the story of the Chateau Grand being taken away from him?

  4. Herman was a very good Mann with a big Hearth .He helpt so many People and never took credit for it ,he did not wanted to be a sho off .We -his Friends where sad that we could ore would not take our help .
    0ur sincere good Wishes and Sympahty to Rita Christopf and Katrin o+o+

  5. he was so funny.now i guess they can turn the chateau grand into another obnoxious strip mall or townhouses.i preferred seeing herman sitting out there on rte 9 with his little protest to lakewood corruption.rest in peace friend

  6. Rest in Peace Hermann. The judging by others is over. Your tumultuous journey has ended. You Won!

    Hermann, please keep an eye out for the rest of us. I’m looking forward to a good German home-cooked meal when I get home.

  7. I used to see this man on my way to college sitting infront of the chateau grand! I one day stopped because I just had to know his story! I am so glad that I did because he was a very nice man! We talked and and he was just so sweet and thankful that I was concerned with him. WOW! He will bw missed. Rest in peace my dear friend!!!

  8. I worked for Mr. Winkelann in the 1970’s. It was one of the first jobs I ever had. I was about 15 years old. I was very saddened to read about how his life ended. I still don’t understand. He was a very succesful business man and Winkelmanns was one of the most popular resteraunts around. We were always slammed. This is very, very sad. May his eternal soul rest in peace.

  9. my parents took me to winkelmanns when i was a child; this was when beefsteak charlie’s was still by the laurelton circle. it was a wonderful experience and the first time i had black forest cake. i will never forget it. beautiful place. thank you mr. winkelmann.

  10. That bank they talked of in this article was First National Bank of Toms River where my mom worked as VP of reconciliation department. Both my parents lost a lot when FNBTR went belly up, including $150K worth of stock.

    It is truly a shame that Mr Winkleman died in such a fashion. Our family enjoyed many meals at Winklemans. We celebrated my grandparents 25th wedding anniversary, family birthdays, etc., or just wanting a well cooked German meal of spaetzle and schnitzel. It’s a shame that a man who helped so many people wasn’t able to get the help he needed.

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