Obit: Winger, Wilfred Junior (1922 - 2008)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Winger, Fiedler, Burzynski, Lawrence, Freemore, Garber, Zaborowski, McCartney, Bain

----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI.) December 31, 2008

Winger, Wilfred Junior (7 March 1922 - 26 December 2008) With Flag

Wilfred Junior Winger, affectionately known as "Papa Bill" to those who knew and loved him, quietly entered heaven on December 26, 2008. He was the son of the late William Frederick Winger and Martha Fiedler Winger, born on March 7, 1922, in Stanley, WI. Graduating from Thorp High in 1940, he moved to Chicago to go to school and seek job opportunities. While there he met his wife, Eleanor "Ellie" Burzynski and they were married on November 20, 1943. He missed Wisconsin so he returned and joined his brother in the operation of the Lublin Cheese Factory that they purchased from their father. Shortly after, World War II military called and he proudly served his country in the European Theater. He served in the armored division ending in Germany when the war ended.

Upon his return, he purchased the milk trucks from the cheese factory and built bulk tanks for the milk routes. When the entire operation was moved to North Dakota, he decided to come back to Wisconsin. He moved his family to Seymour and bought a small Foodliner that they named the Seymour IGA.

After selling the store, he sold life insurance and then purchased the Meyer Insurance Agency and renamed it, Winger Insurance. That agency was bought by Alexander & Alexander which in turn was bought by Aon from which he retired in 1984 due to health reasons.

As he planned for retirement, his avocation became his vocation and so after retiring from Aon, he and Ellie, always his partner, owned and operated Grandpa’s Christmas Tree Farm. This was sold in 1998. The family was blessed to have his presence and his many and varied interest for so many years in spite of his failing health. Bill was a man who believed in service to his family, his church, his community and country.

While in Lublin, he served on the School Board was Village Treasurer and a charter member of the American Legion. He was past-president of the Seymour and NE Kiwanis Clubs and Woodside Lutheran Home, a member of American Legion Post #11 and the Concerned Hearts Club, and a former Elk member. He was a man who lived his faith and served in various positions and church councils in all the churches he attended.

He is survived by his wife, Ellie, to whom we are extremely grateful for the care she provided to him for many years. This was a couple who truly lived their vows for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. They celebrated 50th, 60th, and 65th milestone wedding anniversaries. Also surviving are his daughters and their families of whom he was so extremely proud: Carole (Dr. David) Lawrence, West Monroe, LA and BJ (Billie Jean) (Vern) Freemore, De Pere, WI; three grandchildren: Dr. Christopher (Stacey) Lawrence, Lafayette, LA, Kirk Lawrence, W. Monroe, LA, and Sidney (Scott) Garber, De Pere, WI; three great-grandchildren: Zachary and Paige Lwrence and Layla Garber. Further surviving are a sister, Arlene Zaborowski, Thorp, WI and a sister-in-law, Virginia Winger, Bismarck, ND, as well as many special nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers; Harvey, Eldred and Udel; his brother-in-law, Raymond Zaborowski; a granddaughter, Angel Freemore; and a great-grandson, Devin Mitchell McCartney.

Visitation was from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 29, 2008 at St. John Lutheran Church, 1700 Lost Dauphin Road, West De Pere, followed by the memorial service at 2:30 p.m., with the Rev. Andrea Bain officiating.

Cotter Funeral Home, De Pere, assisted the family.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Memorials have been set up to the St. John Lutheran Church Building or Trust Fund, Cerebral Palsy, Inc. of Green Bay, WI or charities of your choice.

The family wishes to extend its sincere appreciation to the medical professionals who provided health care services to Bill for so many years and also to the entire staff of Woodside Lutheran Home who cared for Bill and provided support to his family prior to his death.



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