Richard F. Winters, age 79, long-time resident of Ludington’s Hamlin Township, passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 20, 2019.

He was born in Oak Park, Illinois and raised in the Chicago area, where he went to St. Peter Canisius for grade school, graduated from Weber High School and attended DePaul University before entering the Army.

After discharge, he received a teachers degree from Chicago Teachers College. He quickly realized teaching in a classroom was not where he wanted to be, and he completed his pilot’s license and flew for TWA for 25 years before retiring in 1994 at age 55.

Rich and Karol also ran The Wrights Cottages resort on Hamlin Lake of Ludington for more than 20 years, where he also was a parishioner of St. Simon Parish. Rich also held a membership with the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree.

His love of classical music was a constant in his life, in which he freely shared with everyone; whether riding in his car or sitting on the back porch, he played it loud. He was an avid fisherman, snow skier, boat captain, traveler, coach, sports fan and most especially a Spartan! His family and friends would come to know that he had the patience of Job.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Irene Winters; step-mother, Mary; his brother, Edward Winters; and infant granddaughter, Madelyne Kelley Lenz.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Karol Winters; his children, Mark and Jill (Wilder), John and Tera (Ward), and Lauren Winters. He was “Papa” and Grandpa to Joshua, Nicholas, Kennady and Nathan Lenz; and Arden and Evan Winters.

Rich’s memorial mass will be celebrated at St. Simon Church of Ludington, 702 E. Bryant Road, on Monday, June 17 at 11 a.m. The family will meet with family and friends starting at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Pere Marquette Cemetery, just west of South Pere Marquette Highway on Sixth Street. Luncheon will follow immediately after, back at St. Simon.

The family would like to thank American Airlines for their compassion during that difficult time. In lieu of flowers or mass cards, please consider memorial donations to the Michigan Audubon Society at www.michiganaudubon.org/donate.