Ralph Milford “Mel” Winsor | Passages

Ralph Milford “Mel” Winsor passed away on Oct. 18, 2021, in Bellingham, Washington. Mel was born in Red Bluff, California, on April 12, 1949. He was the son of William (Pop) and Jeanne Zuleger. He is preceded in death by his parents and grandparents. He is survived by his three daughters: Shonda Shipman (Steve), Amber Damon (Scott), Melissa Epp (Chris), his three grandchildren: Wyatt, Kaleb, and Serenity; his sister Sam Ryan (Bob), stepsister Victoria Nichols and stepbrother Bruce Zuleger (Patti), along with numerous nephews and nieces. He also leaves behind his former wife, Sharlene, who remained his good friend until the very end.

Mel was a live wire. He loved a good party, good tequila, and family gatherings. Mel looked forward to traveling the National Parks and a road trip to Maryland to visit one of his daughters. He was able to spend several months with his youngest daughter in Hawaii over the last couple of years, soaking up all the rays of sunshine he could.

Mel grew up as an Explorer Scout, rebuilding and racing a car. He went through carpet apprentice training along with his stepbrother Bruce and best friend, Matt. Mel owned his own business on Orcas Island for 20 years. During his time on Orcas Island, he became a member of the American Legion, filling many leadership roles. Mel continued his volunteer service once a month for the American Legion pancake breakfast; he was famous for his Mickey Mouse pancakes. Mel volunteered for the Army at the age of 17, where he earned a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam.

Mel worked hard all his life. Pop always had “projects” waiting for him on each visit to his parents’ house, in either California or Mexico. As a result, he had many long-lasting friendships spanning from Washington to Mexico. He was an excellent cribbage and pool player, some games getting quite loud but always fun and lively.

Mel fought hard; he was often referred to as the man with 9-lives. Yet, he maintained his positive outlook on life and continued to wear his infectious smile up until the very end. We could all learn from him and the joy he had for life.

A Celebration of Life will be held next spring at the American Legion on Orcas Island. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in Mel’s name to: American Legion Post 93, 793 Crescent Beach Dr, Eastsound, WA 98245.