Don L. Winter

Don L. WinterDon Leroy Winter was born Aug. 15, 1937, to Leroy Winter and Mary Adelaide Brashfield in Selma, Ala.

His father died when he was 17 months old. Shortly after that, they moved to Missouri to live with family. In 1943 his mother married Harry Shelton and they moved to Hartville, Mo., where he grew up.

After high school, he went to work for Kraft Foods Co. in Springfield, Mo. He attended Southwest Missouri State and then transferred to the University of Missouri in Columbia where he met his wife Karen Elizabeth Peterson (Kitty). He graduated with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the university and immediately went to serve in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After serving his time in the Army, he and Kitty were married Dec. 30, 1961. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Indianapolis, Ind., where he went to work for the Naval Avionics Facility on equipment that was designed at China Lake.

In 1964 they transferred to Naval Ordnance Test Station China Lake, where he continued to work on equipment for Sidewinder missiles. Over the years he worked on developing ground support and automatic test equipment for more than 11 different missile systems. He was also the center’s representative to the Joint Logistics Commander Team to develop automatic test equipment. He served as a branch head at China Lake and retired from service in 1996, after 35 years.

Don was very active in community affairs in Ridgecrest. He served on the corporate board at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, the Desert Counseling Clinic Board of Directors, BPO Ridgecrest Elks, Little League Baseball, 4-H and Boy Scouts of America. He was a Scoutmaster for Troop 848 for several years and scouting commissioner for the Desert District and Southern Sierra Council for the Boy Scouts of America. One of Don’s proudest accomplishments was that he served as scoutmaster for 30 young men who received their Eagle Scout. Don and his son Eric were Eagle Scouts as well.

Don died peacefully at home surrounded by his loved ones on June 10, 2018.

He is survived by his wife, Kitty, of 56 years; sons Don Allan Winter (Laura) of Victorville and Eric Anthony Winter (Chantell “Chachy”) of Ridgecrest; grandchildren Stephanie Marie Winter of Stockholm, Sweden, and Wesley Owen Winter of Ridgecrest; and sister, Joy Shelton of Lawrence, Kans.

A life so beautifully lived deserves to be celebrated. Please join us as we celebrate his life Saturday, June 30, at 2 p.m. at the B.P.O. Elks Lodge.

— Submitted by the family of Don Winter

Story First Published: 2018-06-29