Bernard Clayton Winther

Jul 18, 1921 – Jan 16, 2016

Bernard Clayton Winther obituary image 1



Bernard Clayton Winther

Born to Norwegian immigrant farmers on July 18, 1921 in Mohall, North Dakota, Bernard Clayton Winther died at age 94 on January 16, 2016, after a brief illness.

As a teenager, he moved to Seattle, Washington in search of better job opportunities, and graduated from West Seattle High School.  Then, Dad was soon drafted into the U.S. Army, serving as a rifleman during WWII.  He saw combat in Germany, France, and Central Europe, and earned a Purple Heart and three bronze and silver stars.

Upon returning to civilian life in Seattle, he obtained a Certificate of Apprenticeship in Electrical Construction and began what would be a lifelong career as an electrician.  During this period, he married fellow-North Dakotan Esther Scheer.  During over fifty years of marriage, they enjoyed family get-togethers, gardening, and activities at S. James Lutheran Church in White Center.  After his retirement, they traveled throughout the U.S., in Canada, and to the Panama Canal.  Dad also was an avid salt- and fresh-water fisherman throughout most of his life.

Dad’s wife preceded him in death, but he is survived by his son, Dr. John B. Winther, of Tacoma, WA, his daughter, Dr. Maureen Ihrie, of Winston Salem, North Carolina, five granddaughters, and four great grandsons.

Dad took great pride in the achievements of his two children and the careers of his five granddaughters (three possess doctoral degrees, one is a Corporate Vice President, and one is a Diplomat in the US Foreign Service).  We remember him dearly for instilling an uncompromising work ethic in his children, maintaining an unbending devotion to family, and insisting on regular meal times!  He will be much missed by his family.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be designated to Hospice through Group Health Foundation (, in honor of Bernard and Esther Winther.


This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.