Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Randall Ray 'Randy' Winter 64

| May 19, 2024 12:00 AM

Longtime Flathead Valley resident Randall Ray “Randy” Winter went to heaven on May 3, 2024, after a heart attack near his home in Tooele, Utah.

Randy, the son of Robert R. and Lovella N. Winter, was born in Kalispell on April 30, 1960. He attended  Kalispell schools, graduating from Flathead County High School in 1978, and obtained an associate degree from Flathead Valley Community College in 1980. 

Soon after turning 18 and following in his father’s footsteps, Randy joined the Montana National Guard,  where he began a long career as a Supply Sergeant in the 495th Infantry Division. During his tenure, Randy accompanied his unit on a one-year tour of duty in Kuwait as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Concurrently while serving in the Guard, Randy volunteered with the Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department. 

Following his retirement from the Montana National Guard, Randy took a position with the Veterans Administration, assisting veterans in obtaining their Veterans Administration benefits.  After leaving the VA, he worked a series of part-time positions. The one he enjoyed most was as a park ranger at Apgar Campground in Glacier National Park. Randy was very outgoing and loved showing off the beauty of Glacier Park and the surrounding areas to park visitors. Randy worked the last three years as a part-time security guard for Allied Universal. He enjoyed this job so much that he would return to Kalispell from his home in Utah to fill in for his coworkers. 

In 1985, Randy married Mary Ellen Sherman. Although eventually divorced, they remained friends until Mary’s passing in 2021. Last year Randy moved to Tooele, Utah, to live with his fiancé, Meleasi (Mary) Cornell. He looked forward to a life with Mary, traveling and attending concerts whenever possible.

To associate with Randy meant he considered you a friend. Randy was loyal, and friendly, and enjoyed going the extra mile for his closest friends and family. He loved being a dad and greatly supported Kyle, Justine, and their friends. Randy, also called Big Red, was known for his comforting and reassuring teddy bear hugs, which many who knew him will miss.

Randy was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Kyle Warren Winter; and his brother-in-law, Don Hanley. He is survived by his daughters, Justine Crom (Tommy) and Katey McKay (Jason); and six grandchildren. He is also survived by his fiancé, Mary Cornell; sisters Roberta Winter, Juanita Rash (Ron), and Kris Hanley; four nieces and one nephew; a large extended family, including fiancé Mary Cornell's extended family; and many friends across the Flathead Valley. 

A memorial service honoring Randy will be held this summer with more information to follow.