OXFORD – John Luke Winters, 78, died after a short illness with cancer Sunday, July 6, 2014, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford. A memorial service will be held today, July 8, 2014, at 2 p.m. at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Oxford with the Rev. Ann Whitaker and the Rev. Taylor Moore officiating. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 1 until 2 p.m. Waller Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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Born December 10, 1935, in Zalite, Latvia, to Milda Weiss and Janis G. Vinters, Mr. Winters and his family suffered occupation by the Soviet Union, then by Germany during Worth War II. They fled the Soviets who had re-captured Latvia to become a family of four prisoners of war, then displaced persons in Munich, Augsburg and other camps. They immigrated to Rhode Island in October 1950.
John graduated from Cranston High School, served in the U.S. 8th Air Force, then received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design and Masters of Fine Arts from Tulane, where he met his future wife. He was employed first by the Mississippi State College for Women, then the University of Mississippi as an Art Professor, primarily teaching printmaking. He originated several National Works on Paper shows. He was a member of many printmaking associations, Lions Club, 8th Air Force Historical Society, and American Latvian Artists' Association. He helped the Latvian Academy of Art rebuild its printmaking department after Latvia regained its freedom in 1991 and established a prize for one leading printmaking student per year. He maintained his dual Latvian/American citizenship.
Mr. Winters is survived by his wife, Maggie Winters of Oxford; two sons, John J. Winters and his wife, Joanna, of Fredricksburg, Va., and David L. Winters and his wife, Susan, of Oxford; and three grandchildren, Molly, Katie and Samuel Winters.
Memorials in Mr. Winters' memory may be made to the American Latvion Association, Attn: John L. Winters Printmaking Prize, 400 Hurley Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850; Joslin Diabetes Centers, P.O. Box 4155852, Boston, MA 02241-5582' or the Melanoma Research Foundation, P.O. Box 759329, Baltimore, MD 21275-9329.
For additional information or to sign an online guestbook, visit our website www.wallerfuneralhome.com or call (662) 234-7971.
Waller Funeral Home
419 Highway 6 West Oxford, MS 38655
Published in Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal on July 8, 2014