PORT TOWNSEND — A formal police funeral is planned at noon Friday to honor Dave Winegar, Port Townsend Reserve police officer and Jefferson County Network administrator.
Winegar, 50, whose full name was Jerome David Winegar, died suddenly of a heart attack at his Port Townsend home on Dec. 22.
The funeral at the Fort Worden Commons will honor his 18 years of service.
An emergency vehicle procession will include local police and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and State Patrol, as well as East Jefferson Fire Rescue and other emergency service personnel from neighboring jurisdictions.
The funeral cortege will leave at 10:45 a.m. from the Haines Place Park & Ride traveling north on Landes Street to 19th Street, then on to Walker and Cherry streets, ending at Fort Worden.
All emergency vehicles will have lights flashing throughout the route.
A small part of the procession is expected to drive past the Jefferson County Courthouse at 1820 Jefferson St., and the Port Townsend Police Department at 1925 Blaine St., Suite 100 on the way to the service.
“The Port Townsend Police Department is working with the family to assist in providing a memorial that represents Dave’s service as a police officer and honors his service to the community,” said Keppie Keplinger, department spokesperson.
“All will be in dress uniforms, and the department and the entire community will be represented to show respect for the service he provided.”
She said that Winegar was the longest serving reserve officer in the department. He joined in 2004.
This is the first death of a Port Townsend police officer in more than 10 years.
Sgt. Garin Williams, reserve officer supervisor, had a special connection with Winegar.
“Dave and I started at the same time,” Williams said. “He joined as a reserve officer, and I graduated around the same time in ‘07. We went through the ranks together.
“He was a trusted officer in every regard. He always had the citizens’ best interests at heart, and he was a solid performer for the police department,” he continued.
“I think more than that, he was a great human being — light-hearted, easy-going and he cherished his children.”
Jefferson County Commissioner Kate Dean was Winegar’s sister-in-law. She said the service will be a “family formal police funeral.”
“It’s not a line of duty funeral,” Dean said. “He will be honored as a longtime member of the police force. There will be a color guard and a guarding of the remains. There will be a presentation of flags to David’s children, and then a final call out of duty.”
“The police have been gracious and supportive,” she said. “We appreciate the department taking care of him.”
A number of family and friends will speak about David’s life and his public service.
Following the memorial, a reception is planned at the USO Hall on the Fort Worden campus.
Winegar had served as the information technology/network administrator for Jefferson County since 2003.
“He worked with every single county employee,” Dean said. “He was the one to call if there was a problem with getting online or having email problems. It was all about the network. He was a behind-the-scenes guy, very quiet.”
Central Services Director Mark McCauley said Winegar was a great team player.
“My four IT folks got along extremely well and he was a fine contributor. He was the architect of our systems and helped us make better use of our computer devices,” McCauley said.
”We undertook a security camera project when I first came on the job and Dave researched the cameras, secured the cameras. Now we can track the security of the courthouse. He modernized all our systems.
“He was a smart guy who was good at what he did. I’ll miss him.”
Dean said the loss is large in the family.
“It’s about holding it all together for his boys Nico and Nate, ages 17 and 11. He also has an adult daughter, Ashlee. It’s been very emotional to have this formality and it is much appreciated. He leaves a big hole and touched a lot of lives.”
A memory book is being created for his children. In addition to a book at the memorial service, thoughts and remembrances can be sent to [email protected]
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]