Warren Wintrode, a longtime Associated Press newsman and sportswriter, has died at age 64.
Wintrode was found in his Helena home on May 31 after suffering an apparent heart attack, his ex-wife, Pam Moser, said.
Wintrode, known as "The Trode" to his friends, joined the AP in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1968 as a part-time employee during his final year of college.
After graduating, he worked for the AP in Louisville, Ky. He worked mainly as a sports writer, and Moser said getting paid to attend sporting events was Wintrode's idea of heaven.
But when the opportunity came to move back West, he jumped on it, Moser said. Wintrode transferred to Cheyenne, Wyo., and then to Helena in 1977.
"He enjoyed writing about anything, but I believe he was at his best when he could write an outdoor feature of some kind _ hunting and fishing in the Big Sky country he had come to love," Moser said.
Wintrode worked briefly in the Denver bureau before leaving the AP in 1982, but he returned to Helena two years later and worked in the bureau there until he retired in 1996.
It was in Denver that Wintrode met former journalist Martin Connolly, who later became a close friend. Connolly, who lives in Billings, said Wintrode took him on many memorable fishing and camping trips.
Wintrode "just added so much to our lives that he will never really be gone _ at least to me," Connolly said.
Wintrode was born in Sioux Falls in 1946. He grew up there and completed his degree at Augustana College.
He is survived by his only child, Jason Wintrode of Billings.