Lonnie L. Winters passed away on March 17, 2019 peacefully in the arms of his
loving children and wife. He was born in Caldwell Idaho, May 21, 1940 as the middle
child of six children to Ralph and Harriet Winters. Lonnie attended Greenleaf school
and after graduation attended George Fox Academy and then later transferred to College
of Idaho where he majored in combined science and biology with a minor in education.
After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree he taught high school Biology at Nampa
High School between 1965-’68. He then attended the University of Mississippi on a
special Science Foundation grant where he received his Masters Degree in Biochemistry.
Returning to Nampa he taught one more year and then married Bonnie Robert who had
just graduated from N.N.C. with a degree in Elementary Education. They decided to live
in bush Alaska and were hired to teach in the small native village of Bethel on the
Kuskokwim River near the Bering Sea. There they resided for over 18 years, Lonnie
taking on the role as high school principal and Bonnie as a teacher. In 1979 they had
their first child Lora and a few years later a son, Robert. After raising their children on
the tundra for 8 happy years they moved back to Idaho where in 1989 -’95 Lonnie was
employed as a principal on the Coeur d’alene Indian Reservation where he helped in
establishing a consolidation of schools for the neighboring towns.
Upon returning to Nampa in 1995, Lonnie became the principal of Idaho City
High School with a fifty mile commute. He loved the scenery and nature on those drives
but decided to retire in 2000 before returning to Alaska once more to be by his wife’s
side as she taught for two years in the very small native village of Chevak. In 2003 They
finally returned to Idaho to be close their family and new grandkids.
Lonnie is survived by his wife, Bonnie and their two children, Robert and Lora as
well as their son in-law Seth Woodward and five grandchildren, Dakota, Tyler, Weston,
Annalee and Ellia.
Lonnie is also survived by his sisters, Virginia Riggs, Neva Stark, Joan Gash and
brother Jack Winters and their spouses Richard Riggs and Karen Winters, and many
nieces and nephews. His sister, Ardis Nelson and brother Ervin Winters preceded him in
death as well as multiple in-laws and 5 nephews.
Lonnie always had a very caring and positive attitude for his teachers, students,
family and friends. He loved hunting and fishing and experienced many adventures in
Alaska which he enjoyed reliving through stories. However his favorite subject was
perhaps his kids and grandkids, who he loved and cherished beyond words. He
embodied a wonderful love for family, friends, and nature. His great sense of humor, and
contagious laugh could brighten anyone’s day along with his favorite quirky little songs,
rhymes and phrases which will not be forgotten. Lonnie was a very special person who
had a positive impact on many. He will be greatly missed and remembered by people of
all ages and walks of life from across the Alaska delta and throughout Idaho.
Lonnie L. Winters, 78, of Nampa, died Sunday, March 17, 2019. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at The Caldwell Friends Church 521 E. Elm Street in Caldwell. A viewing will start one hour before at the church. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com
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