December 21, 2012, wasn’t the end of the world as we know it, but it was the end of this world for Arthur T. “Ted” Winiecki, 87, of Virginia, Minn., dying that Friday, at Virginia Regional Medical Center from an intra- cranial hemorrhage.
Ted was born February 1, 1925, in Raymond, Wash., the youngest of 10 children of Tadeus and Frieda Winiecki. He graduated from Raymond High School before entering the Navy in 1943. Ted served as an electrician’s mate aboard the U.S.S. Kwajalein, an aircraft carrier assigned to the Pacific Fleet. After the war, he attended Yakima Junior College and Washington State College. He enjoyed playing the sousaphone in the WSC band. His experience as a ship’s electrician led to his getting a job at the Prosser Power Plant and while living in Prosser, Wash., he met and married Rosebud Chesley. They moved to Coulee Dam, Wash., in 1955, where Ted worked first as a power plant operator and then, as a power plant electrician. He received a Bureau of Reclamation Performance Award for exceptional work accomplishment, served on the Coulee Dam Volunteer Fire Department, and had several magazine articles published on his home machinist and gunsmithing projects. He retired, after 32 years of government service in 1980; moved to Electric City in 2000, and to Virginia, Minn., in 2008. He was an Edgewood Vista resident.
Ted loved to make things out of wood or metal in his shop. As a young man, he built boats, raced them and water-skied behind them. He never thought salmon tasted quite right unless the fish had been pulled from the water moments before hitting the frying pan. He was a gunsmith and an avid hunter. He loved the wild country and often hiked and snow shoed in the mountains. He climbed Mt. St. Helens (before the top blew off) and Mt. Adams. He was famous for telling a long involved story as though it was reality, and then, finally, the listener would realize Ted was “spoofing”…it was a joke.
Ted is survived by his son Del (Jane) Winiecki of Clarkdale, Ariz.; and daughters, Carol (Gareth) Andrews of Zim, Minn., and Grace Winiecki of Virginia, Minn.; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
His wife (Rosebud Winiecki), parents (Tadeus and Frieda Winiecki), four brothers (Bernhard, Marion, Henry, and Bob Winiecki), and five sisters (Marie Sherman, Helen Youngs, Grace Smith, Frieda Janes, and Lillian Roessler) preceded him in death.
A memorial service celebrating Ted’s life and faith was held on Friday, February 1, 2013, at Riverside Chapel’s Zim Church building on highway 27 in Zim, at 7 p.m.