Erle James Winkler was born in San Francisco on Sept. 11, 1944, and died March 5, 2019, in Modesto after battling pancreatic cancer. Growing up, he attended San Andreas Elementary School and graduated from the school he loved, Calaveras High School, in 1962. In 1966 he received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He loved his Golden Bears. He then entered the U.S. Navy and served from 1967-1971, ending his service as lieutenant. Upon returning home, he chose to work in the family grocery store, Winkler’s Village Mart, with his father. After the store’s closing, he entered the world of real estate. He worked with his high school classmate, Jim Martin, at Martin Realty in San Andreas until retiring.
He was a member of the Angels Camp Gun Club, S.I.R. of Amador County, Veterans of Foreign War Post 2600, an original member of the Calaveras High School Quarterback Club, life member of Calaveras Historical Society and belonged to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.
E.J. had many hobbies. He was an avid golfer and sports fanatic. He was a true fan of the San Francisco Giants, 49ers, Golden State Warriors and Cal Bears. He loved studying College Football for his fantasy sport teams and supported all Calaveras High School sports. From 1995 thru 2002 he coached Calaveras High School Girls’ softball teams. He also loved to travel.
E.J. is survived by his wife of 43 years, Raelyn, and his daughters Sara (Jared) Cobb and Lindy (James) Pettijohn, both of Valley Springs. He is also survived by his granddaughters, Avery (12 years), Allie (8 years), Sawyer (16 months) and grandson Carter (1 month); brother, Ron Winkler; sisters, Anne Marie and Lisa Winkler; nephews, Dan Segale, Scott Soracco, Joel Kane, Bryan Kane, Corbett Winkler and Nathan Winkler; nieces, Debbie Segale and Tara Winkler. He was brother-in-law to Mike and Joelene Segale and Ed and Carolee Kane. Erle was preceded in death by his parents, Erle F. and Dolores (Cook) Winkler and brother-in-law, David Segale. A Mass will be held March 16, 2019, at 11 am at the St. Matthews Episcopal Church at 414 Oak St., San Andreas. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to the Calaveras High School Quarterback Club, P.O. Box 607 San Andreas, CA 95249, or a charity of your choice.