ARKPORT-Donald F. VanWinkle, Sr., 88, of Pine Knoll Park, passed away on Sunday morning (Aug. 25, 2019) at Elderwood at Hornell, after a short illness.
Born in Dansville on April 24, 1931, he was a son of the late Francis Daniel and Minnie Olive (McCollumn) VanWinkle. Besides his parents, he was also predeceased by two brothers and a sister-in-law, William (Rita) VanWinkle and Daniel VanWinkle; and a sister and brother-in-law, Audrita (Robert) VanNorman.
A graduate of Dansville Central School, Don received a bachelor’s degree from RIT in 1984 and a master’s certificate from the College of the Finger Lakes of Cornell University in 1988.
He proudly served his country with the U.S. Navy on the USS Randall from 1951 to his honorable discharge in 1953 and was a recipient of the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Ribbon. From 1970 to 1974 he served with the Navy Reserves.
Don spent his early years in Dansville and has resided in Arkport since 1963; since 1997 he has spent the winter months in Haines City, Fla. He was employed by the former Foster-Wheeler Energy Corp. in Dansville before he began his 36-year career with NYSEG, retiring in 1990.
After his retirement, Don loved spending time caring for his grandchildren. He was an avid golfer and volunteered his time for 27 years with the Corning Golf Classic as a “Super Captain” and was responsible for three different holes. For about 10 years he served as a substitute teacher for Arkport Central School and was a member of the Arkport Memorial American Legion Post No. 1248, was a former member of the Buds and Blossoms Western Style Dance Club, a former member of the Arkport Exchange Club, volunteered for the Hornell Rotary Club plays and served as an election official. Throughout the years Don enjoyed reading, hunting, fishing, golfing, woodworking, gardening, traveling, going on cruises and camping. He also loved the experience of Marriage Encounter and traveling with the Marian Tours Pilgrimages.
He was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish and was a communicant of St. Ann’s Church in Hornell where he served as a Eucharistic Minister for many years and also was a member of the Perpetual Adoration Chapel. Most recently he was also a communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Canaserga.
His loving family includes his wife of 64 years, Patricia (Lauffer) VanWinkle, who he married at St. Patrick’s Church in Dansville on July 30, 1955; four children, Ann (Paul) McDaniels of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Bonnie (Kevin) Dungan of Arkport, Carolyn (David) Wheaton of Garden City Beach, S.C. and Chief Petty Officer Donald VanWinkle, Jr. (Makaela) of Gulfport, Miss.; seven grandchildren, Jason (Karla) Dungan, Casandra “Casey” (Kyle) Baker, Sarah (John) Hawes, Samuel Dungan (Melissa Sehm), Erin (Joseph) Zych, Donald VanWinkle III and William (Kyra) VanWinkle; nine great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Virginia VanWinkle of Dansville; as well as his nieces, nephews and cousins.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell is honored to serve the family of Donald F. VanWinkle, Sr.
There will be an hour of calling from 10-11 a.m. Saturday (Aug. 31, 2019) at St. Ann’s Church, 31 Erie Ave., Hornell, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in his memory at 11 a.m. Saturday. Committal prayers and interment, with military honors, will be held at the convenience of the family at Bath National Cemetery.
The courtesy of no flowers would be appreciated. Those wishing may contribute to their favorite charity in his memory.
Online condolences or remembrances of Don are welcomed on the Facebook page of Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. or at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.