William ‘Winger’ Harvath


William ‘Winger’ Harvath

NIAGARA, Wis. — With great sadness, we announce the passing of William Bruce Harvath, 70, of Niagara. William, better known as Winger, passed away on Saturday June 22, 2024, at Aurora Medical Center in Green Bay surrounded by those who loved him most.

Winger was born May 26, 1954, in Norway, the son of the late James and Carmen (Freeman) Harvath. He was a lifelong resident of the Pembine and Niagara area. He graduated from Niagara High School in 1973, where his record for running the 440 in track still stands today.

After graduating, he worked at the Niagara paper mill for 36 years until its closing in 2008. While there, he completed vocational training. Winger also completed a welding certification, where he finished at the top of his class. In addition to working at the mill, he also loved farming and gardening.

Winger was known for his pig roasting business, where he used pigs that he raised and the pig roasters he built. Never able to sit still, even in retirement, he tended bar part time at the Hangout in Pembine and cooked Friday fish fry at Storheims in Iron Mountain.

On April 10, 1976, he married Margaret Alice Ann Sonnenberg (Margie) at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Niagara. Together they owned and operated Winger’s Bar in Pembine for a number of years. He also served for 20 years on the Pembine school board.

Winger also loved coaching. He coached Lil’s women’s softball team from Pembine for a number of years in which they won many titles and was assistant coach for Pembine school football.

He is survived by his much-loved wife of 48 years, Margie of Niagara; daughters, Amanda (Robert) Sielaff of Spread Eagle, Wis., Alison (Christopher) Greatens of Green Bay, Wis. and Krystal Harvath of Niagara; four grandchildren, Aaron (Maggie) Vaness of Escanaba, Zane Phillips of Niagara and Liam and Amelia Greatens of Green Bay and his best friend, Bob Butler of Niagara.

As the oldest of 10 children he leaves behind his brothers, Fred (Laura), Peter (Diane), Theo (Tammy) and Butch (Margie) and sisters; Pauline Harvath, Marcia (Mike) Weber, Mary Jane (Mark) Fox. He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Patsy and Inez.

Winger’s passing leaves a huge hole in the Harvath family and his many friends and loved ones. He was a tough, fun-loving man, who could be hilarious at times and always honest, loyal, and told you what he thought, good and bad. He was a devoted friend who never turned down a chance to help.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 27, from 9 a.m. to noon, with Mass to follow at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Niagara with a luncheon at the church hall. Father Felix Abano will officiate.

The family has chosen Roubal Funeral home Wausaukee to honor his legacy of life.