Bernhard Winckler was born on July 4, 1924 to Peter and Eva (Hieb) Winckler on the family farm. He attended Hoff school in rural Tyndall, South Dakota. Ben was confirmed in the Reformed church by Rev. Karl Stuebb. As his older siblings left home, Ben became his dad’s right hand man on the farm. On Augsut 31, 1947, he was united in marriage to a gal that lived only a few miles from him, Sophia Berndt. When Ben’s parents moved into Tripp, he took over caring for the family farm.
When his son, Wayne, came home from Vietnam, Ben handed the family farm over to his care and retirement. He still had the farmer in him and took pride in having a well-maintained garden and yard. Ben was a lifelong John Deere man, he used them on his farm and then enjoyed collecting the small ones when he moved into town. In 1972, they built a home in Tyndall. In their retirement, the Wincklers spent a lot of time traveling the USA and were able to visit all the states, including Alaska and Hawaii as well as the Yukon territories, Canada, and Mexico.
Ben was a member of the Emanuel Reformed Church south of Tripp until it closed in 1980 at which time he joined the Presbyterian Church in Tyndall. He served as an officer in the Emanuel Reformed Church. He enjoyed involving the church’s young men by forming a softball team, even winning a few trophies. He also sang in a quartet and even sang songs in German. For many years, Ben served on the Hoff school board until the rural schools closed. He was then elected to the Bon Homme school board. He volunteered in the community by delivering meals on meals. On Sundays he liked to bowl and he also frequently played cards with his friends. He was proud of his math skills, and enjoyed figuring out problems without a calculator. Ben was a dad who looked forward to helping his kids out when needed.
Ben passed away on Monday, March 19, 2018 at the Good Samaritan Society of Tyndall having attained the age of 93 years, 8 months, and 15 days.
He is survived and remembered by his wife Sophie Winckler of Tyndall; his children: Wayne (Peg) Winckler of Tyndall, Ila (Larry) Chester of Tyndall, Denise (Mike Travnicek) Campbell of Tyndall; nine grandchildren; nineteen great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law John and Edith Berndt, brothers: Albert, Leon, and Hubert Winckler, and sisters: Alvina Schneider, Martha Thum, Leona Stein, Lenora Winckler, Viola Thum, and Rebecca Hoff.