William T. Winninghoff, age 75 of Montana City, passed away on January 1, 2019 surrounded by family and friends after a brief struggle with cancer. Bill was born in Butte, Montana on January 24, 1943 to Edward and Mae Winninghoff. He grew up in Philipsburg where he graduated high school. After graduating from Western Montana College in the ROTC program, he joined the Navy and attended the Navy Flight Academy. Throughout his career, he was a pilot for the Navy, worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington DC, was a pilot and part owner of Morrison Flying Service and was a helicopter pilot for the Army National Guard; retiring in 2003. He retired from Fish, Wildlife and Parks as Chief Pilot in January, 2010. He was awarded several medals and commendations throughout his career. Bill acquired his pilot Instructor License, mentoring many aspiring pilots. He had over 15,000 flight hours accrued.
On top of Winning Ridge, at Discovery Basin, on January 24th, 2008, Bill married his soulmate, Jane Nelson on their shared birthday.
Flying and skiing were Bill’s passions, along with camping, road tripping, boating and neon lights.
Bill is survived by his wife, Jane and his daughter, Cassy Mae Heikkinen, who is currently residing in Atlanta, GA and a traveling nurse. One of Bill’s proudest moments was when Cassy presented her BSN degree to him a few days prior to his passing. Also surviving is his brother, Bob and wife Carol of Philipsburg; Jane’s parents, Willis and Jeanne David of Marshfield, WI and Jane’s siblings, Sandy, Shari, Mary, Ken, Alan, Willis, Barb, Glen, Ruth, Larry, Shele and their families.
He is preceded in death by his sister, Margaret Davidson and brother, Michael Winninghoff.
A special thank you to Dr. Weiner and his staff. You truly are the “Best of the Best”.
A service celebrating Bill’s life will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22nd at Nickel’s Casino, AKA “Bill’s Office”, 2100 N. Last Chance Gulch. A second celebration will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 24th in Philipsburg at Discovery Basin ski hill at the top of Winning Ridge. Burial will take place at a later date in Philipsburg, MT. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Bill’s name may be made to VFW Post 8292, 14 Maxville Road, Philipsburg, MT 59858 or to the Rotary Club of Philipsburg c/o Granite Mountain Bank, PO Box 10, Philipsburg, MT 59858; please put “Winninghoff Park Fund” in the memo.