Friends, family remember JohnD Winters |

Friends, family remember JohnD Winters

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer
Alexander Schacht, 16, great-grandson of JohnD Winters, accompanied by his mom, Kathleen, signs a guest book at Winters' memorial at Silver Oak Golf Course on Wednesday. Chad Lundquist/ Nevada Appeal

Friends and relatives remembered fourth-generation Nevadan JohnD Winters as warm, gentle, caring and forthright.

However, he also had occasional moments when his demeanor could be compared to “a sack full of wild cats,” said Craig Hartung, one of his nephews.

Hartung was grateful that when he and other younger relatives would, for example, decide that shooting rats was a superior form of pest control that their Uncle John remained unfazed.

JohnD became ferocious only when he boxed, served in the military, and, occasionally when he faced someone not being “up front and honest,” Hartung said.

Hundreds attended the memorial service Wednesday for Winters, the Carson City native and Dayton rancher who died March 30 at the age of 97.

“He was remarkably complex,” but remained “unpretentious” – a rare combination, Hartung said.

JohnD wasn’t without a sense of fun. He warned Hartung and other kids over and over about teasing a ram. The animal eventually responded by sending him into the air. When JohnD found Hartung, then age 6, there was no “I told you so,” he remembered. There was only a sly smile, a subtle way of asking, “Now do you understand?”

JohnD and his wife, Kay, owned the Santa Maria Ranch and own Ophir Mill Ranch in Dayton. While his father and grandfather entered politics, he preferred to not run for office but was actively involved in civic matters and community groups.

“Northern Nevada has lost a prominent figure,” Hartung said of his uncle.

And those in attendance agreed.

“If the number of people attending your memorial is any measure of someone’s character, then JohnD must have been a wonderful man,” said Guy Rocha, the Nevada State Library and Archives interim administrator, as he looked around the room. “It’s a tribute to his life.”

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.