Willard "Wink" Winkley Sept. 20, 1922 - March 16, 2014 WALKERTON - Willard "Wink" Winkley, 91, of Medina, OH, formerly of Walkerton and Shelbyville, IN, passed away on Sunday, March 16th, in his residence with his loving wife Pat by his side. Willard was born on September 20, 1922, in Winfred, South Dakota, to the late Frank D. and Melvena (Barnes) Winkley. On November 5, 1960, at the Great Lakes Naval Base he married Betty Bouse of Walkerton, IN, who preceded him in death on August 11, 2004. On September 11, 2005 in Shelbyville, IN he married Patricia L. (Sutherlin) Kehrt, who survives. Willard is also survived by one step-daughter; Rana R. (Brian) Wilson of Metamora, IN, one step-son, Ronald (Andy) (Shannon) Kehrt of Medina, OH and four grandchildren: Alahna, Alex, Nick and Sydney. He is also by survived by his first wife Betty's families, Bouse, Sullivan, Sauer, Brown, and Brooks families. Mr. Winkley retired from the United States Navy on August 1, 1962 as a Chief Petty Officer after 21½ years of service. He was on the U.S.S. Thornton at Pearl Harbor 12/7/1941, and later took part in the battle of Midway. In 1942 he was transferred to the U.S.S. Blue DD 387 which sank in the Solomon Islands after being struck by a torpedo. He then served on the U.S.S. Conway which was part of Arleigh Burke's 31 knot "Little Beaver Squadron". He then served on the U.S.S. Bismarck Sea CVE 95, which sank during a kamikaze attack after sunset, Feb. 21 1945, at the battle for Iwo Jima, with a loss of 321 men from ships company and composite squadron VC-86. Before his retirement from the military, he was an instructor at the Great Lakes U.S. Naval School. He received numerous medals including two Purple Hearts during his many years in the Navy. After his retirement from the military he worked at a Boiler Inspector for 21 years and after that he was an Over the Road Truck Driver. On February 21st each year at 7:00 PM he would face the west and drink a toast to the men lost at sea. Willard was a member of the Fleet Reserve Assoc. BR. 053, Military Order of Purple Heart, Masonic Lodge AF & AM #78 of Waukegan, IL, American Legion Post 189 of Walkerton, IN and Elks Lodge #1526 of Des Plaines, IL. A Graveside Service will be held Saturday, April 5th at 11:00 AM at Woodlawn Cemetery, Walkerton, IN with Pastor Tim Stewart officiating along with Military Honors by the American Legion Post 189. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the donor's choice. Condolences may be expressed online through our website: www.hanleyandsonsfuneralhomes.com. The HANLEY & Sons Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Walkerton, IN handled local arrangements and services and extends its deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers to Willard's families.
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Published in South Bend Tribune on Apr. 2, 2014