LTC. Roderick “Rip” J. VanWinkle
August 16, 1978 – April 24, 2018

Roderick “Rip” VanWinkle of Colorado Springs, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, surrounded by family and friends.

He was born August 16, 1978 in Binghamton, NY to Roderick and Barbara VanWinkle.

He was raised in Binghamton and graduated from Seton Catholic Central High School with honors before attending and graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology. He was an ROTC distinguished military graduate and a George C. Marshall Foundation Scholar.

LTC VanWinkle entered commissioned service as an ROTC graduate, and his first assignment was as a tank platoon leader, 1-68 Armor Battalion, Fort Carson, Colorado. He subsequently was assigned to the S2 section. After transitioning into the Army Reserve, he worked as an intelligence plans officer for the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command. His first joint assignment was with Special Operations Command Pacific at Camp Smith, Hawaii. His culminating assignment was at Headquarters, NORAD and USNORTHCOM.

Rip was a recipient of the Legion of Merit from the President of the United States and received the meritorious civilian service award. He was a true rocket scientist and security expert who made the world a safer place for us all.

He married Tonya on May 29, 2005, in Colorado Springs. They proudly welcomed their sons, Travis in 2009 and Trevor in 2011. Rip was a devoted family-man, full of patience and love. He was a man with an unshakable moral compass and full of integrity. He had a mind that could tackle any problem and a social demeanor that was calm and down to earth. He was a boy scout at heart and a lover of adventure. He frequently enjoyed camping, hiking, rock climbing, scuba diving, ice climbing and mountain biking. He and Tonya loved to travel together and enjoyed many trips around the country and overseas.

Rip is deeply loved by his wife and children and extended family and will be greatly missed by the many lives touched through his life of service.

Rip is survived by his wife Tonya, sons Travis and Trevor, parents Rod and Barbara and brother Christopher.

Service Details: Attention: Two locations – Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

9:45 a.m. – Military Honors, Shrine of Remembrance Mausoleum, M60A3 Memorial Tank. All are welcome, 1730 East Fountain Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80910, (719) 634-1597.

11 a.m. – Memorial Service, Main Sanctuary, First Presbyterian Church (Downtown), 219 E. Bijou St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903, (719) 884-6100. Reception to follow in the Worship Center.

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This Obituary Has 6 Condolences

  1. Tonya we are so very sorry for your loss , prayers for you and your children during this difficult time. ❤️

  2. Tonya and family, We are so sorry for your sudden loss its with heartfelt and the deepest condolences that Roderick will not be forgotten by his family and friends.

  3. Tonya, Travis and Trevor, From my family from the G23 Family, We feel we’ve lost the best among us. We’ll remember him always and will never forget what he did for us, the command, and the nation. You and your boys can be rightfully proud of what he did, but more important who he was. We mourn with you, the boys, and with all of his family and friends. Love, Jon and Tamara Petty

  4. Tonya, we just want you to know that we are thinking of you and pray that you will find some peace. we will all miss Rip a lot. we love you and the boys very much. love, Aunt Dot and Uncle Terry

  5. Tonya and boys, I had the privilege to work for Rip for several years at NORTHCOM. He was by far the best leader and mentor I’ve had in 19 years of service. Please know his legacy will not be forgotten and he is greatly missed. I hope to get to meet you someday when we return to Colorado (currently live in Slovakia). I’m so truly sorry for your unimaginable loss. Major Sheila Johnson

  6. Thank you all for being so kind for my mom loss she has been so strong through this hard time it has been 4 years now and I miss him everyday

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