Tuanette VanWinkle


Tuanette VanWinkle


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[gn_heading style=”1″]Tuanette “Boots” VanWinkle[/gn_heading]

Tuanette VanWinkle
Boots VanWinkle

Tuanette (“Boots”) VanWinkle went to be with the Lord on December 20, 2011. Boots was born March 1, 1927, in St. Paul, Minn., the daughter of Edward and Mildred (Puls) Dobrick. She grew up in St. Paul and graduated from Central High School and from the University of Minnesota with a major in Social Work. She was the Girls’ Counselor for one year at the Lutheran Children’s Receiving Home. She also served as church organist at Ascension Lutheran Church for the seven, years prior to her marriage.

She met Laurie (“Rip”) VanWinkle at the Lutheran Student Association in 1949 while they attended the U of Minn. They were married on May 20, 1950, in St. Paul, and then lived in Billings, Montana. From this union four children were born: Eric, Gary, Mark, and Kristin. For a short time after her marriage, Boots was a case worker for the Yellowstone County Welfare Dept. in Billings.

Living in Hawaii in 1951 was a high point for Boots. Rip was recalled into Service and stationed on Oahu, Hawaii, for one year. Eric was born in Honolulu in 1951.

When the children were older, Boots attended Eastern Montana College (now MSU- B) and earned a teaching certificate. She then taught the primary grades at Pioneer School from 1969-1984. She loved teaching these young children and felt this was her calling.

Boots was a Life Member of NEA and MEA and a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, honorary society. She belonged to Goggles and Dusters Car Club and Yellowstone Valley Retired Teachers.

Boots was a life-long Lutheran and a member of First English Lutheran Church from 1950 till the time of her death. She taught Sunday School and was active in Topaz Circle and led Young at Heart. She also served on the Church Council.

Music was of major importance all during Boots’ life. While in 8th grade she was a winner in a competition of young pianists in Minnesota. The twenty winners performed in a recital at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul. They played duets en masse on ten grand pianos.

She cherished her family and grandchildren .and had a great fondness for animals. She loved traveling, camping in the mountains, being out in their gazebo, and shopping. She and Rip enjoyed traveling four times in Europe with Germany being their favorite country. Boots was especially proud of her 100% German heritage.

A highlight of their travels was making friends with a German family, the Duvigneaus, while on a tour of Hamburg in 1982. A rewarding result of this lasting friendship was having Barbara Duvigneau, the daughter, as an Exchange Student in their home in 1991- 92. The two families enjoyed visiting in each other’s’ homes several times over the years.

Her husband of 53 years, Rip, preceded her in death, as did her parents and brothers, Ed and Dick Dobrick. She is survived by children, Eric of Billings, Gary (Janie) and daughter, Kara, of Alvin, Texas, Mark (Miriam) and sons, David and Jonathan, of Auburn, Wash., Kristin (Warren) Ostwalt and son, Zachary , all of Laurel, and son, Tyler, of Billings; also sisters-in-law, Miriam Dobrick and Jeannette Dobrick. Several nieces and nephews survive and also her best friend for many, many years, Zita O’Loughlin.

Family will greet friends from 7-9pm Tuesday at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. A private family graveside service will be held at Sunset Memorial Gardens. A memorial service at First English Lutheran Church will be held at 4pm, Wednesday, December 28, 2011.

Memorials may be made to First English Lutheran Church, or charity of choice.


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0 thoughts on “Tuanette VanWinkle”

  1. Boots was the best grandma a girl could ask for. She was so selfless and caring for others. She inspires me. I miss her dearly. I love you, Grandma.

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