(Feb. 23, 1926 - Nov. 25, 2017)
John “Jack” J. Winninger, 91, died Nov. 25, 2017, at the Long Term Care Center in Cody.
Jack was born to Wyoming homesteaders Mable G. and Joseph Winninger Feb. 23, 1926, at the YU Ranch on the Greybull River.
Following graduation from Cody High School, Jack joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Guam during World War II. After the armistice he enrolled in the University of Wyoming, receiving a bachelor of science degree with honors in agriculture in 1949.
Jack married JoAnn (Thomason) Winninger Sept. 9, 1949, and they made their home in Meeteetse, as owners and operators of the 14,000-acre Winninger Ranch. Jack developed the ranch, improving irrigation, land management, cattle handling, breeding and marketing.
Through his service to agriculture, Jack made significant contributions to state, national, and international advancements in cattle breeding and management. Jack was the first president of the American Simmental Association, director of the Performance Registry International, and a member of the Wyoming Beef Cattle Improvement Association, Park County Farm Bureau, and Park County Cattlemen and other organizations. Jack’s ranch practices were featured in many agricultural publications.
Jack was also active in community service and state government, serving on boards of Meeteetse schools, Park County Fair, Big Horn Basin Mental Health, West Park Hospital and others. He was also an active member of Pioneer Baptist Church and Meeteetse Lions Club. Later in his life, Jack was a Wyoming state representative and manager of the Chamber of Commerce offices in Worland and Cody. His final public service position was as Park County commissioner.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Faris Morse, Elizabeth “Betty” Hitchcock, and Ruth Witherspoon.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, JoAnn Winninger; sons Charles and David Winninger; daughters Connie Polsley, Mary Hixson, and Janet Bolz; 15 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.
Memorial gifts can be sent to the Rebekah Circle, Cody United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1416, Cody, WY 82414.
Funeral services will be at Cody United Methodist Church on Friday, Dec. 1, at 11 a.m. with burial and military honors to follow at Riverside Cemetery.