Paul Donald Winkler, 89, died Mar. 9 in Kansas City, Mo. He was born Apr. 5, 1923 in Crete to Rudolph and Vlasta (Ptacek) Winkler.
In Feb. 2, 1943, Paul was drafted into the army and served in the 87th Golden Acorn Division in Europe during the Battle of the Bulge. His unit completed its service Sept. 13, 1945.
He married Rose Schroeder on May 16, 1944 in Wichita, Kans. His first son, Charles Anthony "John" was born while he was stationed in Europe.
After the war he lived briefly in Kansas and then moved back to Crete. He worked for many years as an auto mechanic and welder.
During the late 60''s he began teaching auto mechanics at the Job Corps in Omaha and then in Washington DC.
In 1969 he began teaching at Mid Plains Community College in North Platte. He retired in 1987 as the Director of Part-Time Instruction.
Donald loved his family above all and was so proud that they all loved each other and got along. He was the center and instigator of countless family reunions, as well as camping, hunting and fishing excursions.
His interests also included rock polishing, jewelry making, guns, and history, especially World War II.
He is survived by his wife of Denton, and children: Richard of Pinedale, Wyo.; daughter-in-law Earlene of Crete; Anna (Jack) Gleason of Denton; Angela Catherine (Tim) Sullivan of Lincoln; Amy (Steve) Hamm of Bellevue; Margaret Delgado-Eberhardt of Kyle, Texas; Vincent (Glenna) of Gretna; Joseph (Deb) of Worland, Wyo.; Martha (Noel Holston) of Athens, Ga.; Louis (Lucretia) of Kingston, Wash.; Tom (Debbie) of Lincoln; Monica (Jim) Stromberg of Omaha; Michael (Ashley) of Mililani, Hawaii; Duane (Monica Hollrah) of Lincoln. He is also survived by 22 grand children plus one due in June, one great-great grand daughter, sister, Dorothy Freeouf of Crete, numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his oldest son John, grand-daughters Diana and Melissa Hamm, great grand-daughter Juliane Winkler, son-in-law Tony Delgado-Eberhardt and brother-in-law Olen Freeouf.
Donald wanted his body donated to the UNO Medical Center. When his ashes are returned, he will be buried at Ft. McPherson National Cemetery. The family will hold a memorial service at the next family reunion, as he requested.