John Winger was born March 1, 1946 in Rexburg, Idaho, to Vernon Winger and Doris Rammell Winger. John died of COVID related complications on December 17, 2021 at his ranch in Victor, Idaho. John died the way he lived, on his own terms, still insisting on taking care of the daily chores.
John was raised in Teton Valley Idaho. His early life was spent in the city of Driggs with his neighborhood friends. Days were spent riding their horses to their favorite fishing holes and playing baseball. There wasn’t a sport or activity that John was not involved in. He always tried to play baseball with his older brother Parley and his friends, once they figured out how talented of a pitcher he was they let him join but it took much persistence.
His family had a ranch in Darby where they spent many years working, but when John was 12 years old they bought a ranch in Victor on Pole Canyon Road along Warm Creek. There was a beautiful old log farm house and horse barn on the property. John and his father Vernon began farming and ranching in Victor and grew a very productive operation, while his mother made their home beautiful. They raised horses and cattle and worked very hard to make the new ranch their home. At that time, they didn’t have sprinkler irrigation and would flood irrigate, in August when they had the crops in and the watering was done they always looked forward to packtrips back south. They spent many great times in the south mountains traveling back to the Upper Palisades Lakes. John loved the mountains on horses and hunting. He would talk about the fall and how he couldn’t wait to get home to go up the mountain. He loved his trips with his father late in the fall hunting, and he never lost his love for the south mountains. He spent everyday of his life enjoying the mountains in his own way.
John attended Teton High School, he was the student body president his senior year and excelled in every sport he played. He was the quarterback and captain of the football team, the captain and pitcher of the baseball team and was also on the basketball team. After graduation John attended Idaho State University. In 1966, John married the neighbor’s (Bob and Afton Blanchard) daughter Peggy. Soon after they had their first child Kirk Paul Winger. John and Peggy moved to Pocatello, so John could continue his studies at Idaho State University where John received his Associates Degree in Electronics. However, after graduation John could not deny his one true passion which was farming and ranching and moved home to Victor to help his father Vernon.
John was a hard worker and a perfectionist. He never did anything halfway, if it’s worth doing, it's worth doing right. He became known as the “go to guy”, if you needed advice on cattle ranching, farming, irrigation, you call John. He helped many people get started in farming and ranching and gained many long time friends in the process. John was the President of Trail Creek Sprinkler company for many years and will be irreplaceable. Through the years he raised seed potatoes, malt barley, and hay. He ran a beef cattle operation for many years and in 2009 he sold the last of the cattle and cried as they left the property. He loved the life of a farmer and rancher and never wanted to do anything else. John and Peggy had their second child in September of 1976, Summer Lee Winger. He was blessed to have another child and his family was complete.
John was an avid fisherman and loved Jackson Lake. When he wasn’t busy working on the ranch he could be found on the Lake either in the boat, or on the ice. He was always the first person on the ice in the winter and everyone would call John to see if the ice was thick enough to start fishing.
John loved his pets and always had dogs and cats to keep him company. He was a very kind and generous man and humble to a fault. He will be missed dearly.
John is preceded in death by his parents Vernon and Doris Winger, his three brothers Parley, Gaydon, and Gary. John is survived by his children Kirk (Tracey) Winger, Summer Winger (Tyler Jones), his sister Sally Rasmussen, and his four grandchildren that he loved dearly, Jade Winger Zazzara, Briggen Jones, Hayzen Jones, and Payden Jones, and his ex-wife Peggy Winger.
There will not be a formal service, but we will have a small gathering at the ranch 9948 S 1000 W Victor, on Thursday December 23rd from 3-6pm if you would like to see the family. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Hapi Trails Horse Rescue or Teton Valley Community Animal Shelter.