SAM WINTERS, 88
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LAKELAND - Sam Winters passed away peacefully early in the morning on Saturday, September 1, 2012, in Florida Presbyterian Homes Health Center, from complications of gallbladder surgery due to his pulmonary fibrosis. His wife, daughter and hospice were at this bedside.
Sam was born November 21, 1923 in Philadelphia, PA to Samuel E. Winters Sr. and Doris Clarissa Karnell Winters. He grew up there until he left for the Navy in January 1943 at the height of WWII. He graduated from John Bartram High School after enlistment. He became an aviation machinist mate first class. After WWII he returned and married his high school sweetheart Louise Anna Cotney, and moved to Oklahoma to attend Spartan School of Aviation. After graduating he was employed by American Airlines and had two children when he was recalled into the Korean War. He was stationed in the Philippines for 8 months and then returned home to Oklahoma where they built their first home. American Airlines moved them to Chicago where he became a flight engineer. He was one of the very fortunate few who loved their job. While stationed out of O'Hare, they lived in Hometown, built homes in McHenry where their four children went through school, and then Casa de Aero (a private air strip community) in Hampshire, IL. He was known as "Good Sam" by his many friends.
His interests included anything with wings. He was active in EAA, Oshkosh, WI, Sun and Fun, Lakeland, FL, Smithsonian Institute, DC, Navion Society, and helped rebuild the Spirit of St. Louis in Balboa Park, San Diego.
After 36 years with AA he retired January 1, 1985. Sam and Louise acquired their first of several Airstream trailers. They visited every state in the Union with WBCCI club. Their trailer was parked in one of their four children's driveway several times along their travels. Through American Airlines and WBCCI he had been to 50 countries during his lifetime. They enjoyed being snowbirds in Lakeland, FL every winter since 1995.
After a five vessel cardiac bypass in 2002, he knew he wouldn't pass the physical so he reluctantly gave up flying. They moved to Florida Presbyterian Homes, Lakeland, in the independent living apartments, July 2008.
Samuel Eli Winters Jr is survived by his wife of 66 years; four children: Samuel Eli Winters III, Delavan, WI; Nancy Bloch (Michael), Chatsworth, CA & Big Pine Key, FL; David Winters (Grace), Escondido, CA; Mary Ann Winters, Nappanee, IN. Six grandchildren: Michele Stevens (Brian), James Chicca (Cora), Kayleen Kirkpatrick Peavy (Aaron), Kelly Shedd (Jonathan), Cameron Winters and Julia Winters. Seven great grandchildren: Jonathan Kirkpatrick, Madelynn Stevens, Karalynn Kirkpatrick, Anna Chicca, Jordyn Stevens, Logan Peavy, Makayla Chicca.
Daddy, Dad, Pop Pop, Poppy, you will be missed. We love you!
Services will be in the chapel at Florida Presbyterian Homes, 16 Lake Hunter Dr., Lakeland, Florida at 1:30PM on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Reception to follow in the dining room. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either the Loving Care Fund or the Chapel Fund at Florida Presbyterian Homes.
Published in Ledger on Sept. 16, 2012