Ronald F. “Windy” Wingate, age 88, died quietly at home on Nov. 2 following a long and courageous battle with pulmonary fibrosis.
Born in Elgin, Ill., in 1930, he was the son of Forest and Hazel Wingate and was educated in Aurora public schools. He attended Illinois Southern University and the University of Illinois where one of his greatest joys was being a member of the Illini Marching Band.
In 1953 he joined the United States Air Force and flew cargo and transport planes during the Korean War. Leaving active duty to become a commercial airline pilot, he remained active in the Air Force Reserves rising to the rank of Major.
During more than 30 years with Eastern Lines, Windy flew almost every type airplane the company put into service. He served as a check airman for the Chicago base prior to his transfer to Atlanta in 1980.
At one time an avid golfer, he belonged to Dunwoody Country Club for many years and was an active member of the Georgia Senior Golf Association, serving as a board member.
A sports enthusiast who embraced his local teams, Windy found great joy in attending college and professional sporting events. The Braves, Falcons and Hawks always had someone pulling for them, as did Tech and Georgia.
Windy was an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Dunwoody - Sandy Springs Post 10822 and a member of Dunwoody United Methodist Church where he served as greeter for many years. He enjoyed volunteering for community and political events and was most proud of his opportunity to support the founding of the city of Dunwoody.
He leaves behind his beloved wife Bev, his son Walter Anderson, his wife Cheryl, and grand daughter Courtney Anderson of Milton. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Nellis Wingate.
Windy treasured family and friends and his final request was to once again thank the dozens of people who visited, called or wrote to him during his final months.
A private memorial service for family only will be held at Dunwoody United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, if so desired, a charitable donation may be made to the Dunwoody Nature Center, 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody, GA 30338.