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Charles Francis Winans

Obituary

On the evening of March 15, 2007 Charles Francis Winans passed peacefully into eternal life after an adventurous and creative time on this Earth. Charles was born to Francis Adolf Winans and Amanda Nelson Winans in Alice, Texas, on May 14, 1939. After growing up in the Texas oil fields, he became an instrumental figure in the burgeoning SATX Biker and Hot Rod culture of the 1950's. He did a tour in the Air Force where he worked in cryptography and signal communication. In 1962, he married Caroline Scriven Winans. Throughout the early 1960's they ventured with their family between California and Texas. In 1967, Charles opened Grandma's Tea Shop and Jomo Gallery, in San Antonio where he again became a pivotal figure in the evolving Beat culture scene. Since such a business venture as this was a little ahead of its time for mid'60's South Texas, in late 1967 he moved with his young family to Hollywood California where Charles Winans again played an important role in the evolution of the Psychedelic cultural movement. There he was professionally associated with Chet Helms, Wavy Gravy, the Sir Douglas Quintet, Janis Joplin, Lenny Bruce, Frank Zappa, Jefferson Airplane among many others. Charles was an exceptionally gifted artist in virtually all media and his visionary aesthetic was critical to the development to the unique style of the period. Charles returned to San Antonio where he came into the orbits of the renowned architect O'Neil Ford and the artist Tom Stell both of whom would have dramatic impact on his life. He would eventually marry Ford's daughter Linda. Charles posthumously executed Stell's design for the famous mosaic across from the Alamo. Charles Winans won a much-publicized lawsuit against the Rolling Stone Magazine. He lived out the rest of his career as an artist and cultural guru in Texas. His artwork was as brilliant as it was controversial and artists and musicians of all ages and styles sought his sage counsel throughout his exceptionally creative life. He was adored by his passionately loyal friends and affectionately admired by all for his impish humor and generous spirit. Charles is survived by his wife Cynthia Reed his caring and loyal companion of 20 years, by his siblings Paula Winans Quincey and her husband Dennis, Marion Daniel Winans and his wife Karen, William Robert Winans, Halla Annette Winans Nickel and her husband Michael, and by his children Clay Winans and his companion Shelli, Camille Winans McNeil and her husband Jeff, Carlotta Winans Clark and her husband Alan, Tom Baker and his wife Kim, Michelle Wishon and her husband Bob, Columbine Donald and her fianc 5/8 Warren, by eighteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held on Sunday March 18 from 5:00-8:00 PM at Sunset Memorial Chapel. Funeral services will be held at noon on Monday March 19, 2007 at Sunset Memorial Chapel at 1701 Austin Highway, San Antonio, Texas. Sunset Funeral Home.

Published in Express-News on Mar. 18, 2007
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