Donald Albert Rominger passed away peacefully at his home on May 16th, 2019. “Big Bad Don” was born in Woodland, CA, on November 18th, 1929 to Anne and Albert Rominger. He graduated from Winters High School in 1947, where he was Student Body President and a four-sport letterman, then earned a degree in Agriculture from UC Davis. Shortly thereafter, he married Shirley Cody, the love of his life, in 1950. He spent his life in Winters on the family farm with Shirley and their four children. Don loved road trips with his wife and kids, family celebrations and BBQs in his parents’ backyard, and especially Shirley’s cooking. Nothing was more important to Don than his family, his farm, his country, and God. Farming was his passion and life’s work. He said often that there was no place he would rather be than on the farm, riding around in “Big Red” with his dog.
To his children and grandchildren, Don was larger than life. He could usually be found in the stands cheering them on at sporting events, or teaching them tricks to athletic prowess. His whistle was audible for over a mile. He was trickster, known for the “your knee, my knee” game and the “forearm shiver”. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed hunting trips with his family and friends. Don loved Winters High School sports, and attended every game he could—at home or on the road—to watch the Winters Warriors play.
Don was a Commissioner for the Winters Fire Department for 50 years from 1968 to 2018. He was a longtime member of the Board of Directors of The Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, as well as The Western Yolo Soil Conservation District. He was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Parish, active in the Knights of Columbus, and a Lifetime Charter Member of the NRA.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Shirley; his parents, Anne and Albert; and his siblings, Elmer Rominger, Claire Stark, and Lucille Russell. He is survived by his four children and their spouses: Lorraine, Donna, Joseph and his wife Sheri, and Daniel; his grandchildren and their spouses: Julia and husband Mackenzie, David, Justine and husband Patric, Cody and fiancé Melissa, Eleanore, James, and Natalie; and his great-grandchildren: Mahea, Noelle, and Luke. He is also survived by his siblings, Richard Rominger and Joan Martinez, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
A rosary service will be held on Thursday, May 23rd at 5:00 pm, and a Celebration of Life Mass will take place on Friday, May 24th at 11:00 am, both at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Winters. The Celebration of Life Mass will be followed by interment at Winters Cemetery and a reception at St. Anthony Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Winters High School Athletic Fund.