Surrounded by loving family, Ross D. Winegardner, 86, of Howell, Michigan passed away peacefully March 3, 2018.
The devoted son of Adie and Dessie (Helser) Winegardner, Ross was born in Thornville, on February 18, 1932. After the unexpected loss of his father, Ross assumed the role of provider for his family, farming the land and caring for his beloved mother, Dessie, and sister, Esther. This early love for the land remained a focal point throughout his life. While managing the family farm, Ross earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering and a Master’s degree in Engineering from The Ohio State University. Following graduation, he began working at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus. His career later carried him and his young family to Michigan, where he enjoyed a long career with Ford Tractor Operations.
In retirement, Ross continued his love of farming with his beloved wife, Marilyn, planting an extensive garden and orchard at their home. Ross cherished time spent with family, especially with his sons, Kevin and Brian and their extended families. He was a kind and gentle soul, loved by all that knew him. He had a quiet demeanor and was a deep thinker; his favorite subjects to contemplate and study were philosophy, psychology, history, religion and health. He had a passion for woodworking and an enduring interest in all things mechanical; he enjoyed taking on challenging problems with creativity and ingenuity. He also was conscientious about his health, with a daily routine that involved exercise, diet, and a healthy lifestyle.
Ross was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Galen; sister, Ruth; and beloved daughter, Cheryl Christine (1989). He is survived by his devoted wife, Marilyn; sister, Esther Fillmore; sons, Kevin (Megen) and Brian (Julia) Winegardner; and grandsons, Orrin and Andrew.
He was a faithful, lifelong member of the Olivet Church of the Brethren in Thornville. A memorial service celebrating the life and memory of Ross will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday March 10, 2018, at the Olivet Church of the Brethren, 10788 Zion Rd NW, Thornville.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Olivet Church of the Brethren or the American Lung Association in honor of his daughter, Cheryl.