Nature 14

William Winkler

April 30, 2021


William C. "Bill" Winkler, AIA, died peacefully of natural causes at age 79 on April 30, 2021. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 16, 1942 to Dorothy and Everett Winkler. He grew up in Wisconsin with his two older brothers, George and Jim, until His family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1957 for his father's U.S. Forest Service job. William graduated from Highland High School in 1960. While at Highland, he was a member of the student Rocket Society and the Thespians. Through friends John and Carolyn Kirpatrick, William met Rosemary McNerney and they were married on December 26, 1964 while he was a student at the University of New Mexico. During the summers, William worked for the U.S. Forest Service in the field, helping to spot and fight forest fires. William graduated from the UNM School of Architecture in the fall of 1969. His son Karl was born in 1966, and his son Kirk was born in 1971.

As an architect, William was involved with the design of several prominent Albuquerque and Santa Fe landmarks, including the downtown Albuquerque police station, Eldorado and Cibola high schools, the KRZY/KRST radio station, the Santa Fe Hilton hotel, the Santa Fe Airport, and the Albuquerque Hilton Hotel (now Crowne Plaza) near the I25/I40 interchange. William worked for John Hawkins and Bill Ellison in the 1960s and 1970s, then Bill J. Shelton through the 1980s. William joined Architectural Research Consultants in 1993 and worked there until his retirement in 2016. While at ARC, William consulted with schools throughout the state of New Mexico in order to bring them up to modern standards for handicapped access, health, safety, and education.

During the 1970s, William and Rosemary were heavily involved with their neighborhood association, working to improve the area. One of the projects they accomplished was to turn the dilapidated Tesuque Drive-in Theater grounds into Mesa Verde Park and community center.

William was an avid hobbyist throughout his life, involved with a variety of interests. He loved to build ship, submarine and building models. He learned to sail and navigate on the water, and owned a small sailboat during the 1980s. He had a lifelong interest in the works of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and always made a point to see his landmarks when visiting a city. While a teenager, William was interested in cars and hot rods, owning an extremely fast, modified 1955 Chevy, with which he would race the other Albuquerque gearheads in the 1960s as part of the Roadrunner Car Club. He claimed that he had "the fastest car in Albuquerque at that time." He continued to repair and maintain his own cars for decades and taught many of those skills to his sons. While in college, William became an avid pot maker - dozens of his pottery items still grace the homes of friends and family. He was also a music lover, amassing a diverse collection of recordings from Fats Domino and Elvis to Walter Carlos and Tomita, from Bach to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Yes, Iron Butterfly, Shostakovich, Fleetwood Mac, and Bob Dylan. His favorite pieces of music were Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, and Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

William also held an interest in photography all his life after learning the basics from his older brother Jim. He won first place at the New Mexico State Fair for a photograph of Rosemary he took in 1968. When they bought their first house together in 1971, William built a darkroom in the back of the garage, and taught his sons Karl and Kirk how to develop film and make prints. He took the transition to digital photography in stride, learning how to use Photoshop software, scanners, and printers. William was also interested in firearms and would go deer and pheasant hunting with his friends during the 1970s. He became a stamp collector during the 1970s and won a regional Philatelist award for his collection from the German Inflation period of the 1920s. During the 1980s and 1990s, William was an avid woodworker, making dozens of furniture items for his own home and for his friends and family. Throughout his life, William was an amazing handyman, capable of fixing and improving just about anything. He did extensive modifications to the Winkler home, including major bathroom and kitchen renovations and building a beautiful deck off the back porch. During the 1990s, William learned computers and became an expert on the PC platform and Computer Aided Drafting.

William was a wonderful son, husband, brother, father, grandfather and uncle and will be deeply missed. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Rosemary; his sons, Karl and Kirk; his granddaughter, Nina; his brother, George, his daughters-in-law, Jane and Kristy Jo; and dozens of cousins, nieces and nephews on both sides of his family.

Instead of flowers or plants, if you wish, the family asks that you please make a donation to one of the following in William's name:

Friends of the Albuquerque Public Library,
Assistance League of Albuquerque,
Chatter Music Worth Talking About,
San Juan Symphony,
Albuquerque Genealogical Society,

Thank you for your consideration.

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