Remembering One's Roots
Tom Winter's family lived in West St. Paul since the 1890s. Tom was the youngest of nine children born to Joseph and Marie Winter. He enjoyed his Minnesota childhood and attended the University of Minnesota where he received his Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D. in Geology while also studying other geosciences. He started working for the United States Geological Survey in 1958. In 1973, Tom and Judith and their three children relocated to Colorado where Tom worked for the United States Geological Survey-Water Resources Division Office for 37 years.
In 2005 Tom called the Society - he was coming to St. Paul and would like to meet with a member of the Society's Development Office. While Tom had lived in Colorado for nearly 40 years, he always cherished his roots in Minnesota. The Fort Snelling area was one of the family's favorite recreation areas for several generations. Tom recalled that his parents would often take out-of-town visitors to Pilot Knob to see Fort Snelling and the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. Tom wanted to do something special at Fort Snelling that would be a lasting tribute to his parents and his brother Joseph. With a small inheritance he received when his brother died, he decided to create The Joseph and Marie Winter Family Fund for Historic Fort Snelling - a pooled fund that he hoped to build into an individual named fund over time.
Tom passed away suddenly in 2010. To honor him, his children - Mark and Mike Winter, and Shelley Hall - decided to complete the pledge their father had made to bring the fund to $50,000. In addition to completing the fund, they also wanted to remember their father at Fort Snelling. In 2011 Tom's children, his sister, Sister Magdala Winter, his nieces Candy Winter Ruport Moy (with her husband Gary Moy), Barbara Winter Hippler, Mercedes Winter Marsh (with her daughter Hannah Marsh) and several other friends gathered at Fort Snelling to dedicate an oak tree (his favorite tree) in the picnic area overlooking the bend in the Mississippi River gorge. Family members plan to continue contributing to the fund to honor Tom and their family's history in Minnesota. Since its inception, The Joseph and Marie Winter Family Fund has supported several projects at the fort. Most recently, it supported the research for development of History Player Dr. Daniel Hand, who was an assistant surgeon with the First Minnesota Regiment during the Civil War and a founder of the Minnesota State Medical Society, who will debut this spring; and research for the development of a new school program on the Fort's role during World War II that will launch this spring.
The Joseph and Marie Winter Family Fund will be a lasting tribute to the Winter family and their roots in Minnesota.