Winston Albert Kriger
September 18, 1941 – March 9, 2019
Winston Albert Kriger, 77, of Austin, Texas, passed away on March 9, 2019 at his home after suffering several months of a rare, untreatable, and debilitating brain disease that impaired his muscle control, balance and speech - and finally, basic life sustaining functions.
A Celebration of Life Service for family and friends will be at 2:00 PM, Saturday March 16, 2019 at the Cook-Walden Funeral Home located at 6100 N. Lamar.
Winston was born to Albert and Wilta Kriger in Baton Rouge, LA on September 18, 1941. He went through school in his hometown and graduated from Baton Rouge High School in 1959.
He married Ruth Yvonne Miller on June 11, 1966 and they shared the next 52 years together, living in Baton Rouge and Houston, TX before finally settling in Austin, TX in 1973.
He developed an interest in electronics at an early age and could repair any radio or TV by the time he was a teenager. He had earned credentials in electronics and ham radio operations that led to his being hired by Baton Rouge's largest television station as the senior audio technician when he was only 16. His grandfather always called him "Tom" because he was as smart and creative as Thomas Edison.
He attended Louisiana State University and later graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Technology in 1974. He then enjoyed a long career in electronics and computer operations, for companies including Microtek, Houston Instrument and Tymlabs. He became a world-recognized expert in Hewlett Packard HP3000 computer systems, and started his own company, Cactus Technology in 2002 to provide custom development and support to corporate clients using those.
He was a veteran who served during the Vietnam era as a US Army reservist. He greatly enjoyed his work in the Army as a photo documentation specialist of early missile and rocket tests, and later in life his cats bore the names of those early missiles. His current cat "Hercules" will miss him. His hobbies included ham radio (W5JAV), U-Control model airplanes, stock car drag racing, maintaining his original-owner 1966 and 1988 Ford Mustangs, mountain climbing, skiing, hiking, garden railroads, and historic railroads of America.
Winston is survived by his loving wife Ruth, son Carey, brother Brett of Baton Rouge, LA and brother-in-law Larry Miller of Arlington, VA and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Donations may be sent to Austin Area Salvation Army PO Box 1000 78767 or to The National WW II Museum 945 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA. 70130
Austin Area Salvation Army
PO Box 1000, Austin, Texas 78767
The National WW II Museum
945 Magazine St., New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
- Memorial Service Saturday, March 16, 2019
- Reception Saturday, March 16, 2019
Winston Albert Kriger
April 19, 2019
Ruth, I have mixed feelings about Winston's passing. I will miss his friendship over the last twenty plus years. He had both the ability and willingness to solve almost any problem.
He was always generous with his time and would never accept any payment for his efforts. A Whataburger (hamburger, fried okra and drink...no fries even though the combo was cheaper. He wanted it his way.) or the occasional Dairy Queen pineapple shake would cover any expense.
Watching Winston's physical decline over the past several years makes it easier to know he is at rest and his pain is gone.
Ruth, your dedication to his care was amazing. It was obvious to all your love for Winston.
Mary Sue Stothart
April 4, 2019
Dear Ruth and Family,
First of all, thank you for sharing these lovely pictures. They really tell such a beautiful and exciting, love-filled life story of a man who contributed so much to the world and to his family and friends. It was an honor to cross paths with Winston, which naturally led to you, and we have treasured your Christmas notes for many years. Winston was my "back up" at O'PIN Systems when Sarah arrived from South Korea at 5 months old. I literally gasped when I saw that our picture was among Winston's life story (thank you)! He will forever live in my heart, as you. If you ever find yourself in Minnesota, please know that you have a home here. Always.
With much love,
Mary Sue Stothart (Jeff and Sarah/now 18 years old)
March 18, 2019
1984. That's when, still very French, I arrived in Austin. We met once at the opening of my small software company but we were to meet many more times, in fact everyday when I joined Tymlabs in 1986. Winston was in the office next door working on a different project but so often we shared our daily software adventures. He was always so supportive, and his sharp sense of humor so uplifting to me. When I had some hardware problems, computers and car A/C I would know who to call. I remember now that we went on a trip to France for business. On Saturday I asked him what he would like to do on Sunday. Well... may be go the Alps... Winston, the Alps are 500 miles away from Paris... Just give me some directions was the answer which I did. Metro, Train to Lyon, change train to Grenoble, take a bus and then come back... and he did it... that was, that is Winston. We never lost track of each other even after both left Tymlabs. Many other adventures in Minneapolis, Austin for Mexican or other SIG meetings... but my thoughts are also for Ruth always so welcoming. I know who you lost and I can only extend my very sincere condolences. I know Winston is now in Mustang's heaven.
March 16, 2019
I am another of Winston's first cousins (on the Fontenot side of his family/his mother's side). Winston was the oldest grandchild on that side of the family, and always seemed somehow much older because even at a young age he was always "fooling around" with electronics, ham-radio, then model airplanes. If I ever asked a question about the electronics his answer was usually long....but I did not understand anything he said. No wonder our grandfather thought he was like Thomas Edison! The LA & BR cousins and family are so grateful that we got to see Winston recently on his last trip to Baton Rouge!
Ruth, the obit was so well-written and captured much of Winston's life, interests, and contributions. The video is wonderful and brought back many fond memories. It was so nice seeing pictures of you and Winston enjoying life over the years. Those memories of good times, I hope will help ease your loss. I know this will be a difficult transition for you. My prayers are with you.
March 16, 2019
I met Winston through a local G Gauge Railroad club HOTGG. Winston was the engineer of the group. If it needed fixing Winston was your man. Spent lot's of time putting together track for various shows then let Winston get it all up and running. His knowledge of trains and his love of trains inspired me with my on G-Scale layout. Prayers up for the family he will be missed.
March 16, 2019
This photo was taken during a Masters Conference, in April of 2002, I believe.
-- Jim Kramer
Duane Van Orman
March 16, 2019
I always enjoyed being around Winston not only for his knowledge and teaching me things but also for his dry, dry, sense of humor. He quite often give one of us a big zinger. I will miss him very much. Duane Van Orman
Judy Humphreys Weimer
March 16, 2019
Winston was a very dear friend of mine at Baton Rouge High School, Class of '59. Five years ago at our 55th high school reunion, Winston and my husband, Francis, connected as model train enthusiasts and they spent an enjoyable time sharing stories about their hobby. It was very special that just two weeks ago, Winston and Ruth made the trip to Baton Rouge for our 60th Reunion. Ruth shared with me that even though Winston was not well, he was determined to attend the reunion so that he could see all of his great friends from his Alma Mater. We all enjoyed seeing them so much and are very grateful that they were able to come. We will really miss Winston Kriger! He was a great man...and a wonderful friend!
March 15, 2019
I remember Winston as a careful, thoughtful, analytical and technical person who was also very social. By careful I mean he either researched or thought things out before he spoke and he spoke when he had something useful to say. As far as social is concerned, my perspective might be a little distorted because when he was social it was usually, not always, about either something computer related or hobby related and he knew that I would be interested. Moreover, we shared other interest including skiing, travel and shooting sports.
My most enduring work related memory of him was a time at a conference shortly after he attended an early meeting on the about to be released Windows NT operating system. He was very excited and he KNEW that it was going to be successful and went into great detail about why it was going to be ready for business and reliable enough to use in the enterprise. Also, uncharacteristically, he went on and on talking about. What made that time stand out is the reality that Winston was not usually that vocal about something that new.
I also had the pleasure of sharing meals with him and Ruth when visiting Austin and thought they were excellent hosts.
He will definitely be missed.
March 15, 2019
I knew Winston since the late 1970's when he was working at Houston Instruments. Later he was part of the Tymlabs and Roc Software teams.
When i came to Austin I would contact Winston and he would do some outreach to help organize some of the HP3000 community to meet at Chez Zs or the CountyLine for a meal together.
I knew Winston's passion for model railroading and for hardware.
He will be missed
March 14, 2019
I remember when I would play trains with him. We would fix each others things, like he would fix mi toys and I would fix something of his. I miss him a hole bunch I wish he could still be here. I'm glad that hi is in a better place now he cant suffer any more.😭
March 13, 2019
I am one of Winston's 1st cousins: my dad was one of Winston's mom's siblings. For years when we were growing up, I spent about a month each summer living with Winston and his family in Baton Rouge. There are dozens of very special memories that I'll always have of those times ... too many to share here, and too hard to pick a favorite from. But I can summarize by saying that Winston was always bigger-than-life to me ... he always seemed to think there was nothing that he couldn't teach himself to do, and he was usually right about that. His passing will leave a big hole in lots of people's lives.
March 13, 2019
I enjoyed working with Winston at Houston Instrument. My sympathies and prayers are with Ruth and family during this sad time.
March 12, 2019
Winston Kriger was my mentor and my very dear friend. We met when I was hired at Houston Instrument to help with programming their business software to fit the HI model. Winston was the expert on the HP3000 hardware that HI had decided to use and I was just coming off a job where I designed and implemented inventory control software. More importantly, my programming experience was predominantly in the language, Basic, so fate brought us together.
Winston taught me everything I could absorb about the HP3000 and much much more. He taught me the lesson of data management that I know is still true. Data Processing departments may be responsible for the capture and security of the company data, but it is not our data..it is the company's data and therefore every single individual who needs it, gets it. And these people get to tell us how they get it back.. what reports, and in what format. Thus Winston explained that my job was to listen and learn and give the employees what they wanted so they could do the real work.
I spent all those years learning from Winston as fast as I could. He was never guilty of "dumbing it down", but pulling me into his sphere instead and this teaching method worked for us. He made it possible for me to grow. The HP3000 became our computer of choice and because of Winston, I was able to make a career, in fact a life from his teachings. I cherish every memory.
Winston Kriger was my mentor and so very dear to me. Rest in Peace my friend.... rest in peace.