Billie Burnell Wintjen
Billie Burnell Wintjen departed this life to go to a better one on January 19, 2018.
He was born in Calhoun County to Helen Gladys Wintjen and Gilbert Wintjen, on December 6, 1928 and was next-to-the-youngest of 11 children. He was the last survivor of his siblings.
Bill had three sisters, Kathleen (Rex) Dinsmore of Pittsfield, Neima (Leeroy) Galloway of Kansas City, and Pauline (Joe) Wilkins of Texas, formerly California; and five brothers, James of Alton, Gilbert J of Oklahoma, Wilford of Hamburg, Norman Gene (Maryann) of Florida and Noel of Calhoun County. Two siblings died in infancy.
Bill married Patsy Marlene Howdeshell in 1949. Patsy preceded him in death on October 6, 2017.
They had three children, Victoria Dawn of Ridgecrest California who died of cancer in 2006, Rebecca Lynn and husband Kevin of Nashville, and Mark Joseph Wintjen (wife Becky) of Yukon, Okla., formerly of Calhoun county; Six grandchildren, Jeremy Wintjen (deceased) Ryan Wintjen and wife Bridgett of Yukon, Okla., Elyse Rench of O’Fallon, formerly of Nashville, Rebecca Belding and husband Phil of Corpus Christie, Texas, formerly of Ridgecrest California, Della Tellez of New Mexico, formerly of Tempe, Ariz., and William Tellez (deceased); seven great-grandchildren, Nathanial (Nate) Wintjen, Darrien Tellez Belding, Adrien Tellez, Odin Tellez and Aylssa Tellez and Victoria and Alex Belding.
Bill was a WWII veteran having joined the service during his senior year in high school. He was seriously injured and spent many months in the hospital, being transferred from Germany to Michigan before getting an honorable discharge.
Bill worked on construction and was instrumental in the construction of the chain of rocks bridge. He later worked for Illinois Power Company (Ameren) until he retired to care for his wife .
Bill was a 50 year member of the Masonic lodge of Hardin and a life long Union member of his local Union. He loved to hunt and fish and was a faithful member of the East Alton United Methodist church for over fifty years. He enjoyed ringing the church bells and collecting money for the Salvation Army. He donated his time for many years helping with all church projects. He loved to travel, especially out West, and never met a stranger.
Even in the worst stages of Alzheimer’s Bill remained kind, polite, and a true gentleman.
He will be greatly missed by friends , family, nieces, nephews, and everyone who knew him. He was a man of integrity who remained honorable and kind through the devastating disease called Alzheimers .
Services will be held at the Lummis Funeral home in Pleasant Hill on Thursday, January 25. Visitation will be from 12 to 2 p.m., with the funeral service following at 2 p.m.
Military Burial will be at the Pleasant Hill Crescent Heights cemetery immediately following.
Should friends desire donations may me made to the Alzheimers foundation of America, or to the Crescent Heights Cemetery.