A.F. (Al) Winegardner passed away Thursday, May 9, 2013. He was 11 days shy of his 90th birthday.
Al was born in Denver, Colo., on May 20, 1923, to Al and Ava Winegardner. He graduated from South High School and the University of Colorado in 1949, earning a law degree. His senior year in high school he was named first team All City in football, baseball and basketball, earning him the nickname “All City Al.” Al was a hasher at the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority while attending law school, where he met Jayne Godbe. A year later, they started dating and were married Dec. 19, 1951.
They immediately moved to Billings, where Al went to work for an oil company. Rather than accepting a transfer back to Denver, he took a job with First National Bank so he and Jayne could settle and raise their family in Billings.
Al was an active volunteer, spending time with the Billings Chamber of Commerce, Yellowstone Art Museum, Alberta Bair Theater, the Billings Deaconess Hospital and launching the Symphony in the Park event 40 years ago. He was a lawyer by education, but quickly got into the banking business at First National Bank. He was a staunch advocate of downtown Billings and was the driving force behind the construction of the Wells Fargo building.
He enjoyed playing golf with his friends, spending time with his family and his shelties. He avidly followed the Colorado Buffs and the Denver Broncos.
His life changed after his wife, Jayne, died in 2008. He missed her very much and called her his “supervisor.” He had a delightful sense of humor and no one was spared a ribbing here and there.
Al is survived by three of his children: Jill, of Ely, England, Kurt (Melinda), of Bozeman, and Jon (Kathleen), of Boulder, Colo.; and his grandchildren, Christopher (Ann) and Sam and Eli (Jon and Kathleen), step-grandson Jake (Briana); and great-grandson Carter. His wife and daughter Ann preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m., Thursday, May 16, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on the corner of Second Avenue North and 33rd Street.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Yellowstone Art Museum, 401 N. 27th St., Billings 59101.