Vietnam Veteran Ralph Winter, Beloved Husband and Father, Worked at General Motors


Ralph James Winter, aged 79, passed away on March 16, 2024. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend who will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Ralph was born on August 14, 1944 in Cleveland, OH, then spent his formative years in Orange Township, OH. He went on to attend Purdue University, playing trombone in the marching band and serving in the Theta Xi fraternity. He earned his BS in Industrial Management in 1967.

In 1968 he married the love of his life, Ginger Winter (Dodge). He was then drafted into the army and served a tour in Vietnam from 1970-1971.

In 1974 he earned his MBA from Eastern Michigan University. Ralph was hired into General Motors Co. where he worked in the Hydramatic division from 1968-2008. Throughout his career, he was known for his hard work, dedication, and passion for helping others.

Ralph and Ginger started their life together living in Ann Arbor, MI, then moved to their dream home in 1977 in Saline, where they lived for 41 years. Ralph enjoyed caring for his half acre garden, taking care of all of the ducks on the pond, and creating a fun outdoor environment for his kids.

Ralph was a devoted husband and father. He supported his wife, Ginger, in her Mary Kay career and was always supportive of his daughters, Melissa and Trisha, in everything they did. He was also active in their church, First Presbyterian church of Ann Arbor where he served as a deacon. In his later years, he took extreme pride in his six granddaughters and was an active part of their lives.

In his free time, Ralph enjoyed collecting hobo nickels and served as the Editor of the Original Hobo Nickel Society publication BoTales for over 15 years. He received multiple awards from the American Numismatic Association for outstanding specialty numismatic publication. He also received the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in recognition of his outstanding and dedicated service to the numismatic hobby. Ralph was always eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for hobo nickels with others.

Most importantly, Ralph served in the prayer cordon, as a deacon, and was part of a men’s bible group at Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church. He will be remembered for selfless service and his strong faith. One of his dying wishes was for future generations to help their communities and serve others.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Myrtle Winter, and his sister and her husband, Nancy and William Bigelow.

Ralph is survived by his loving wife, Ginger, his children, Melissa (Frederick) Coen, Trisha (Jay) Winter, and his grandchildren, Kristine Tsiknaki, Kayla Coen, Allison Coen, Samantha Coen, Sydney Winter, and Charlie Winter, as well as many extended family and friends. His memory will be cherished by all who knew him.

A celebration of Ralph’s life will be held for all who would like to attend at 11am on Saturday, June 1st, 2024 at Kirk in the Hills, 1340 W Long Lake Rd, Bloomfield Twp, MI 48302. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation at

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