Branch County Sheriff’s Deputy Dies from Injuries (Updated)

COLDWATER, MI – Branch County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Winter was bucked off his horse during a Memorial Day parade.

The horse was spooked by a noise.  Deputy Winter was thrown off the horse and hit his head. Michael Winter died Tuesday afternoon from his injuries.Deputy Michael Winter

The Branch County Sheriff’s Office reported that on Tuesday May 31st, 2016 at approximately 13:45, Deputy Michael Winter, 39-years-old, succumbed to his injuries.

The Winter’s family has decided to make the gift of life by the donating of his organs. Deputy Winters will be on life support for the next 24 to 48 hours.

If anyone wishes to donate to the Winters’ family, donations will be accepted at the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff C. John Pollack stated that the “Branch County Sheriff’s Office wishes to express their deepest sympathy to the family of Deputy Winters. He will be greatly missed by all of us his co-workers and fellow law enforcement family. We shall always remember him for his service to his country, to the Branch County Sheriff’s Office and to his family.

We all wish to express our sincere thanks to the Quincy Fire Department, the Quincy Police Department, the Quincy Reserve Police and Life Care Ambulance for their quick actions in trying to save Deputy Winter.

Sheriff C. John Pollack
Branch County Sheriff’s Office”

The Branch County Deputy Sheriffs Association has established a Go Fund Me account to assist the Winter’s family.  A second Go Fund Me account has been setup by Kristina Chontas Stankiewicz to assist the family with funeral expenses.


Michael “Mike” Arthur Winter, 39, of Coldwater, passed away on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 surrounded by his family at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Michael’s final act was to give the gift of life through organ donation with the Indiana Donor Network.

A funeral service will be held at 12 Noon, Monday, June 6, 2016 at First Baptist Church in Coldwater with Pastor David Wruck of Allen Baptist Church officiating. Interment with full military honors will follow at Ft. Custer National Cemetery in Augusta. Visitation will take place on Sunday, June 5, 2016 from 2:00 – 4:00 and 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Dutcher Funeral Home in Coldwater.

Mike was born January 16, 1977 to Leonard M. Winter and Patricia (Paar) Phillips in Dubuque, Iowa. After graduating from East Dubuque High School, he entered the United States Navy on June21, 1995 and was honorably discharged on June 20, 1999. Mike received the Navy Achievement Medal, The Good Conduct Medal, The National Defense Medal, The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the 9mm Marksman Ribbon. GM3 Michael A. Winter was a plank owner on the USS Hopper DDG-70.

Mike married Connie Timmerman on August 21, 1999 in the city of Honolulu, Hawaii.

He worked as a truck driver for many years with Brian Wilson Trucking in Coldwater. He was also co- owner of Crooked Bull Amusement, LLC and Crooked Bull Tack and Apparel, LLC in Coldwater.

Mike was a member of Allen Baptist Church, Branch County Sheriff’s Posse, USS Hopper Alumni, Michigan Mounted Sheriff’s Association, Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, American Quarter Horse Association and the American Bull Haulers Association. He loved being with and around horses, making tack and apparel, country music especially George Strait and Clint Black, listening to Rush Limbaugh and he was known for his sense of humor.

Mike is survived by his wife Connie of Coldwater; his daughters, Cheyenne A. and Sierra N. both of Coldwater; his mother and step-father, Patricia (Claire) Phillips of E. Dubuque, Illinois; his mother and father in law, George A. (Kathy) Timmerman of Jonesville; his step-mother Maryann Winter of Dubuque, Iowa; his siblings, Gwen (Rob) Meyer of Dubuque, Iowa, John (Sheri) Winter of N. Charleston, South Carolina and Jodi Winter of Galena, Illinois. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. He was preceded in death by his father Leonard Winter.

Memorials may be directed to the Multiple Sclerosis Association, Branch County 4-H Horse Leaders Association, Michigan Mounted Sheriff’s Association, Alzhiemers Association, the Foundation Quarter Horse Registry-Michigan Affiliate and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan.

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