Nature 39


Ronald Walter Winter

July 30, 1941 ~ December 14, 2018 (age 77)

Ronald Winter, 77 of Ossineke, died Dec. 14, 2018, following a courageous battle with cancer.  He is survived by his wife, M. Jean Gilliland; his son, Brian (Sara) Winter; two grandchildren, Maren and Eli; a brother, Greg (Jan) Winter and a sister, Debra (Larry) Clark; several nieces and nephews.

He was born July 30, 1941 in Detroit to Walter and Esther (Minke) Winter.  His parents returned to the Alpena area when he was very young and settled on a farm in the Hubbard Lake area.  Ron excelled in school.  He was a proud graduate of the one-room Beaudoin School.  He went on to Alpena High School, Alpena Community College and then to the University of Michigan.  Needing to earn money to pay for college, Ron headed west to Arizona and then California to work in the growing construction boom of the early 60’s. While there, Uncle Sam asked him to take a trip to Vietnam. After his service in the United States Army, he returned to Alpena. He married Marion Olson. She preceded him in death in 1982.  Ron returned to the University of Michigan, graduating in 1969 with a Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering. 

Pursuing opportunity back home, he co-founded his first company: a custom equipment manufacturer. In the ensuing 48 years, he founded, co-founded or acquired several dozen additional companies with operations in northern Michigan and various other locations in the United States, mostly engaged in the manufacturing of industrial products for automation and materials handling, including Omni Metalcraft Corporation. These companies have provided hundreds of jobs in Northeast Michigan, improving the quality of life for many people through employment opportunities, skills training and upward mobility.

Ron married the second love of his life on Nov 5, 1995. He and Jean have rarely spent a day apart since.   Ron was an avid seeker of knowledge.  Those that knew him appreciated his wisdom.  More recently, Ron became a member of MENSA by way of the tests he took while in the Army.  Despite having trouble walking distances, Ron loved riding his bicycle.  Many would see him riding Old Ossineke Road when the weather was warm enough.  If you knew him and he stopped to talk with you, he’d likely tell you about his grandkids and their latest endeavors. 

Visitation will take place on Saturday, December 22, 2018 at the Bannan Funeral Home from 2-8 p.m., with military honors accorded him by VFW Alpena Post 2496 at 5 p.m.  A private family funeral service will take place. 

Interment: Evergreen Cemetery

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mayo Clinic for Lymphoma and Lung Cancer research: Mayo Clinic, Attn: Kim Spear, Department of Development, 200 First SW, Rochester, MN  55905 or Alpena Community College Foundation, Ronald W. Winter Scholarship Fund.

Donations may be made to:

Mayo Clinic ATT: Kim Spear, Department of Development
200 First Street SW, Rochester MN 55905

Alpena Community College Foundation
665 Johnson Street, Alpena MI 49707
Tel: 1-989-356-9021