Ray passed away, Thursday, November 9, 2023, at his home with his family and caregivers by his side, and went to be with his Lord and Savior. He lived all of his 37,131 days (101 years) to the fullest. Ray was born on March 13, 1922 in Harbor Beach, MI, the son of Herman and Elsie (Laeder) Winkel. He graduated from Pigeon High School in 1939. At age 19 he met Bernadine Nicholl at a dance and they married 5 years (to the day) after that on March 30, 1946. He attended Cleary College and graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Mortuary Science. Ray served in the US Navy from 1943-1946 during World War II, mostly in the South Pacific. Ray and Bernie moved to Otsego in 1956, where they owned Winkel Funeral Home and compassionately served the community until their retirement in 1984. Ray was a member of Peace Lutheran Church, where he held many offices and helped build both of their churches and parsonages. He was a member of the Otsego Chamber of Commerce, Otsego Lions Club and VFW Post 3030. For 10 years, Ray served on the Otsego Public Schools Board of Education.
As a young man, he played football, basketball and softball and as an adult, he coached Little League. Ray spent many hours on the dance floor with Bernie, square dancing and dancing polkas at family weddings. He loved spending time at Pine Lake and organizing WinkelFest, a gathering of his family for over 39 years. He enjoyed deer hunting at his favorite place, the Winkaway Lodge, as well as fishing, traveling and bowling. Ray played tennis with local seniors until he was 90 years old. He encouraged his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to play all sorts of sports and attended their events whenever he could. An avid fan of Otsego Boys’ and Girls’ basketball, Ray attended many games, until his health kept him away after age 100. He enjoyed playing many types of card games including cribbage all his life, most recently with his dear friends at The Fountains, where Ray and Bernie had lived since 2012
Ray’s compassion, wisdom, quick wit, deep love and devotion to his family and friends will be profoundly missed.
Surviving are his children, Carol (Don) Wuebbling of Ohio, Judy (Tim) Conroy of Connecticut, Jim (Jo Ann) Winkel of Pine Lake, Tom (Carol) Winkel of Grand Rapids; 9 grandchildren, Matt (Leighton) Wuebbling, Monica (Hayle) Chun, Kelwin (Paul) Newman, Kaitlin (Michael) Ervin, Erin (Eric) Nordstrom, Adam (Abby) Winkel, Eric (Jen) Winkel, Andy (Erin) Winkel and Stephanie Ryan; 21 great grandchildren, who lovingly called him Grandpa Ray; many nieces and nephews; his dear friend and companion Ann Wedel.
For the past 11 years, Sandy Rimpson, along with her team including Crystal, Lindsey, Quilla, Joe, Roy, Naomi, Tobi, Marina, Shamisha, David and Michelle have lovingly cared for all of Ray and Bernie’s needs, for which their family is eternally grateful.
Ray was preceded in death by his beloved wife and partner of 74 years, Bernie in 2020; his brother Keith and sister Barbara Schmidt; in-laws, Bob and Gin Nicholl, Max and Doris Nicholl, Fran Winkel, Joe Schmidt; nieces Karen Hansen, Julie Lovelace and Jean Winkel.
Friends may meet with his family from 5-7pm, Sunday, November 12, 2023, at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, Monday, November 13, 2023 at Peace Lutheran Church in Otsego, Pastor Nathaniel Timmermann officiating.
Burial will follow at Mountain Home Cemetery in Otsego.
Contributions in memory of Ray may be made to
Peace Lutheran Church of Otsego
Christian Neighbors of Plainwell.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff of Centrica Hospice for their compassionate care during his final weeks.
Messages of condolence may be posted at www.WinkelFuneralHome.com.
Offer Condolence for the family of Raymond A. Winkel
Lee an Diane Boysen
November 9, 2023 at 5:59 pm
Dear Jim, Carol, Tom and the families, Please accept our most sincere sympathies in the loss of your Father and Grandfather. Ray was a good man with a caring heart. He was blessed with a long and happy life! Wow, that’s great you have him for so long.
Sherri MacEachron( Edwards)
November 9, 2023 at 6:04 pm
He has done many funerals for alot of our family, he was a very well liked man in Otsego and around the area, RIP Ray and prayers to you Jim and the rest of your family.
Larry & Sue Martin
November 9, 2023 at 6:37 pm
So sorry to hear this. Our thoughts go out to all the family. So many memories from high school when they came to my parents for chili before football games.
November 9, 2023 at 6:45 pm
So sorry to hear this. Such a sweet man. Sending love and hugs to the family.
November 9, 2023 at 7:12 pm
Jim and JoAnn, our thoughts are with you – what a legacy your dad left. Mike loved playing tennis with your dad and was always amazed at his skills at his age . Such a well lived life – RIP Mr Winkel .
November 9, 2023 at 9:31 pm
To the Winkel kids–your dad was one of the most sincere and honorable humans I have ever known. My heartfelt condolences to you all.
Blanche & Stephen ,Thorson
November 9, 2023 at 9:40 pm
Mr. Winkle was a remarkable man and lived an extraordinary life. He left the world a better place for being here. He will be remembered and he will ne missed. Thoughts and prayers to his extraordinary family.
November 9, 2023 at 10:32 pm
Carol, I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.
November 10, 2023 at 8:46 am
What a great life! A great man – and euchre player! My condolences to the entire Winkel family. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all. Such good memories…
November 10, 2023 at 9:04 am
DearJim, Carol, Judy and Tom,
Otsego was so blessed to have your dad for so many years. He made it easier to say goodbye to friends, family and loved ones and then passed that gift along to Jim. What a pillar he was in our community! Your parents had four beautiful children all with amazing generous hearts. Thank you for following in their footsteps and making our town a better place. Praying for you as he is now in the arms of Jesus. Love to you all,
John and Diane Glessner
November 10, 2023 at 9:12 am
To the Winkel Family
So sorry to hear of Rays passing, what a wonderful long life he had.
We know our dad enjoyed their many card games and visits when he lived at the Fountains, and valued their decades of friendship.
Our Sympathies to all we know he will be dearly missed .
Tim and Diane McPherson
Dan and Mary DeGood
November 10, 2023 at 9:28 am
Judy and family, my sincere condolences on the passing of your father. I remember him and your mother when they use to visit Greenwich, CT. He was a lovely man & an erudite gentleman and a joy to carry on a conversation with. May you find Peace in the knowledge that your parents are together again.
Tim and Marcia Quigley
November 10, 2023 at 9:41 am
Dear Family of Mr. Winkel and a special mention to Jim and JoAnn,
We shall always remember your father as being a very compassionate man!
Please know he is now an Angel in Heaven watching over you!
Dale A. Eickhoff
November 10, 2023 at 10:36 am
A gentleman who gave much of himself to the Otsego community, but still maintained his zest for life. Condolences to the entire family.
November 10, 2023 at 12:18 pm
Sending love and prayers to the Winkel family. It has been so comforting to have Ray helping us get through these difficult times in our lives❤️. You are in my thoughts during your difficult now. RIP to a great man
November 10, 2023 at 2:38 pm
Jim Winkle, I was so sadden to hear of your father’s passing. I loved hearing you talk about him and all that he had done thru the years. Keep talking about him and Mom and keep those beautiful memories alive. Sympathies to you and your entire family, Sincerely, Pam Loudenslager
November 10, 2023 at 5:11 pm
I’m sorry for the loss of Mr. Winkle! His children, Carol, Jim, Judy and Tom loved him so much and their Spouses also loved him! He will be missed by many people! Ray will now be with Bernie again! Be Blessed the Love of Your Dad and Mom, Carol, Jim, Judy and Tom and the rest of the Family!♥️♥️
Sally (Wolf) Thompson
November 10, 2023 at 5:23 pm
My thoughts, love and prayers to you all. I have so many happy memories of the Winkle family
Dennis L Hiemstra
November 10, 2023 at 5:30 pm
My condolences to Winkel family. A memorable man with a long life, what more could you ask for.
November 10, 2023 at 6:37 pm
So sorry to hear this Ray was a great person – Otsego area was lucky to have him.
Deepest sympathies to the Winkel family
Don and Donna Dekema
Joyce and Darl Gilliland
November 10, 2023 at 10:04 pm
Dear Carol, Judy, Jim and Tom, our families grew up together in Otsego. We celebrated holiday dinners, the ladies would clean up the dishes and our dads would be found asleep on the boys bunk beds: Ray on top, dad on the bottom bunk. We even vacationed together one year to the Upper Peninsula, what a great trip. We’ve attended many weddings also funerals and our friendship has always remained strong. Now your folks are reunited in Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that had to be. May God be with all of you through the coming days. Love you so much ❤️.
November 10, 2023 at 10:27 pm
Dear Tom, Carol,, Judy, Jim and families:
What a wonderful life lived and example your dad was to all. Our town was blessed by he and your moms strong and faithful presence in our community for sooo many years. They raised their wonderful family and each of you followed in their footsteps. I don’t remember a time when I would see your dad when I didn’t feel warmly welcomed and truly cared about.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you as you celebrate his life and his wonderful legacy. We know your hearts are overflowing with
precious memories of 100 amazing years.
Our hearts and prayers are with you all as we celebrate his life with you.
In Christs love, Lorna & Craig
Mrs. Jim Hewitt (Patti Khodl)
November 10, 2023 at 11:16 pm
To the family,
What longevity! 101! It was worded rightly so referring to his life of having been lived to the fullest. What a man to have left a mark on so many people. A man of integrity, compassion, and class! Sorry for your loss, but you were blessed to have had him in your lives for so many years. The community has lost a great one. Hugs go out to you.
November 11, 2023 at 10:30 pm
Dear Winkel family,
Ray was such a good friend and I always enjoyed visiting with him. My parents, Paul and Marie Scheppelman, also said they have wonderful memories of visiting them in Florida each winter. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. May our Lord hold you up and give you peace through all your memories.
November 12, 2023 at 10:27 am
Dear Carol, Lucy and I were saddened to hear of your dad’s passing. He lived an incredible life and like so many men born in the 1920’s lived through some of the most challenging times in American history. The Great Depression, serving in World War 2. You were very proud of the wonderful man he was. Now you have choice memories. that will give you comfort as you think of your Father. Blessings on you and your entire family. John
November 12, 2023 at 1:48 pm
My thoughts and prayers go out to you alll❤️ it was such a pleasure to be a part of your family these last 10 years!! So many great memories!!
Bob and Deb LaGrow
November 12, 2023 at 3:17 pm
He lived to the fullest of his 101 years. What a wonderful legacy of life he leaves. We have many nice memories of him, and Bernie, at church, parties and other events. He was always so kind to all. Our heartfelt sympathy to all the family.
November 12, 2023 at 6:17 pm
Tom, Jim, Judy and Carol
So sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. He was a pillar of Otsego. What a long and fulfilling life. He and your mom were wonderful role models for not only their family, but for all of us Otsego kids
November 13, 2023 at 12:37 am
Dear Winkel family,
My sincere condolences for the loss of Ray. May you be comforted that he lives on with all the believers in heaven.
I will remember him and Bernie for their compassionate service to the community, especially their support and leadership in our congregation.
Praying for peace and comfort for you all,
November 13, 2023 at 7:56 am
Jim, JoAnn, Carol and the Winkle Family,
I am sorry to hear of the loss of your father. He lived and wonderful life and leaves a wonderful legacy. My prayers are with you all.
Tom and Laura Pitts
November 13, 2023 at 9:55 am
We knew Ray as both a friend and fellow church member and remember him as a great man who cared for others and raised his family to be like him–a real blessing to others.
Colleen (Kelsey) Ziemer
November 13, 2023 at 3:47 pm
Dear Jim, Jo Ann, Tom and Carol and their families, Sorry to hear about your dad. – just heard about it today. He will be remembered for a long time for the kind of man he was and all he did for his family and community. My prayers are with you.
Beth (Evink) Ronfeldt
November 14, 2023 at 11:59 am
We were so sorry to hear of Mr. Winkel’s passing. Several years back, my brother, Jerry Evink, and I would pick him up and take him to Otsego’s away basketball games when he became unable to drive himself. We thoroughly enjoyed his company, but no matter how many times he asked us to call him Ray, it just didn’t feel right. He’ll always be Mr. Winkel to us. Our heartfelt condolences to the entire family.
November 14, 2023 at 3:08 pm
Jim and family,
I wish you my deepest sympathy in the passing of Ray. What a decent and wonderful person he was. He was both compassionate and passionate. He was always there with Bernie as a friend to my folks. He sure loved his sports and was competitive as anyone I ever knew. He will be missed, but surely not forgotten.
November 14, 2023 at 4:24 pm
Our deepest sympathy to the Winkel family. What a wonderful life of service to the community of Otsego. The legacy he left behind will be a comfort to all who knew Ray.
Sally Lee Thaxton Betzner
November 15, 2023 at 3:28 pm
Have known family all my life. Sending condolences. Your dad was a very kind man. And thank you all
Leave a Condolence
Please share your message of condolence with the family, It will be visible to the public but your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked
Obituary Notification Service
Enter your email address if you would like to be notified when a new obituary notice is posted:
How do I send a condolence
At the bottom of this page, you will find a condolence form. You will need to fill out some basic information prior to typing your message. (We will not share your e-mail address with anyone) Once you are finished, simply click the submit condolence button. The condolence will be approved before it is published to the web site.
Share This Obituary
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.