In Memory Of
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Donald J. "Donnie" Winkler
04/26/1916 - 11/05/2014
Donald “Donnie” J. Winkler, 98, of Seneca died on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at Crestview Nursing & Residential Living.
He was born on April 26, 1916 to John and Della Aziere Winkler on a farm south east of Seneca, he was the youngest of their four sons. He grew up in the old Kamper Switch neighborhood on the family farm close to Kelly, Kansas. He attended Old Lincoln School, where he completed the 8th grade; and he attended St. Bede’s Church in Kelly. Don’s family was musical and during the Depression the family formed a band and played in a band for extra money Don was thirteen when he played the saxophone at his first dance; he played at many more dances from 1930-1937. He helped his family at the farm and worked at Kampers Drug Store. He also worked for Halderman Construction Company for a couple of years driving dump trucks and helping to build the “new” highway 36 east of Seneca, and in LaJunta Colorado the construction of air runways.
He was drafted into the Army in 1942; Don served his country in Europe during World War II as a Corporal Medical Tect. in Northern France and Central Europe. Don was in the battle of the Bulge, upon discharge he was decorated with four Bronze Stars, he returned to Nemaha County in 1945. On October 29, 1947 he married Lucille Osterhaus at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in St. Benedict. The couple made their home in Seneca where they raised their daughter, Connie, and celebrated 66 years of marriage. Donnie operated Winkler Truck Line for 25 years, and also co-managed Winkler Liquor Store from 1971 until they sold the store in 1981.
Don was a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Church and the St. Joseph society. He was a active member of the Earle W. Taylor Post #21 of the American Legion for 69 years and a lifetime member of the and Veterans of Foreign War. He served as a past commander of the Seneca Memorial Post #7458 of the VFW. For many years he was “Santa” for the city of Seneca, posing for pictures and listening to the children’s wish lists. He enjoyed playing cards and telling jokes.
He is survived by a daughter, Connie Winkler of Seneca.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Lucille; and his three brothers, Francis, Lawrence and Wilfred.
Rosaries will be at Lauer Funeral Home on Friday, November 7th at 2 &7 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, November 8th at 10 AM at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Seneca. Burial will be in Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery, with full military honors.
Memorials may be left in Donnie’s memory to Seneca Veterans Wall and or Sts. Peter and Paul Church.