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John M. Winner


1936 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
John M. Winner Obituary




Newfane - John M. Winner, well known and respected antiques dealer of Newfane, Vermont died early on Sunday morning, February 5, 2017. Jack passed away suddenly but peacefully, in the presence of his loving wife, Gillian. He was a wonderful father to Christopher and Rosalind, daughter-in-law, Roxane Winner and son-in-law, Jim Sterling, as well as being a doting Poppa to Owen, 17, David, 15 and Gwyneviere, 4. He leaves behind two sisters, Sandra Giangiulio, and Betsey Guest, their husbands, James Giangiulio and John Guest, and many loving nieces, and nephews. He was 80 years old and a hale, hearty and active participant in life. Jack was known for his wit and love of conversation, and will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.

Jack was born in Pittsburgh, PA on February 28, 1936 during a hurricane. His parents, Joseph and Beatrice Winner, raised Jack and his sisters in Wakefield, MA, where he attended Wakefield High School, class of 1953. At the University of Notre Dame, Jack completed his Bachelor of Science degree in 1957 and went on to earn a Master of Science in Zoology at Notre Dame in 1959. Continuing his studies at the University of Massachusetts where he met his wife, Gillian Lewis, Jack completed his Ph.D. in 1971.

Jack married Gill in 1963 and they remained in love, best friends and partners for 53 years. They both started academic teaching careers at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, where Jack became a professor. He taught invertebrate biology, parasitology, and limnology, in addition to conducting research and being an academic advisor. In 1972, Jack and the family spent a memorable sabbatical year in England at the University of Durham, a highlight of his teaching career. It was there that Jack cultivated his interest in antiques, eventually opening Downriver Gifts and Antiques in Amherstburg, Ontario, where the Winner family resided. In 1983, the family moved from Canada to Vermont, where Jack and Gill bought the West River Lodge in Brookline, beginning new careers as innkeepers and antiques dealers. Jack also continued to advise and teach occasionally at local area colleges. After selling the West River Lodge in 1999, the couple moved nearby to Newfane, opening Jack Winner Antiques and subsequently, Gillian's Guest house. In 2015, they retired to Loop Road where Jack doted on his two Jack Russell Terriers, Katie and Henry, and continued to run his antiques business.

A man of many talents, Jack had diverse interests and was a member of many organizations. His painted toleware and love of art, restoring furniture, opera, cooking and gardening were just a few of his passions. In Canada, Jack served as president of the Rotary International club in Amherstburg. In Newfane, as a long-time member of the Valley Lions club, Jack organized antique show fundraisers for 17 years. An original member of the Newfane Business Association, Jack enjoyed organizing events for the community. He was a member of the Vermont Antiques Dealers Association, and wrote articles for Southern Vermont Magazine on antique collecting. Jack was an active member of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Townshend, Vermont and served on their Parish Council. He cared deeply about the parish and was a generous man in all aspects of his life.

SERVICES: A Liturgy of Christian burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Townshend, Vermont on Saturday, February 11 at 11:00 a.m. with Fr. James Holden, celebrant. A reception to follow at 505 Vermont Route 30, Newfane, Vermont.

In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation in Jack's name to his favorite charities: Grace Cottage Hospital, P.O. Box 216, Townshend, VT 05353 or Our Lady of the Valley Church, P.O. Box 246, Putney, VT 05346.

To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence please visit www.atamaniuk.com

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Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Feb. 9, 2017
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