George Winters

HUDSON, Fla. — George Winters was a “jack of all trades” who mastered several different skills over the course of a long life filled with adventures. He died on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. He was 82.

“A very vibrant 82,” said his wife, Janice Winters, who described him as a “social butterfly” interested in things like music, art, and carpentry.

Mr. Winters was born in Union City, New Jersey, on March 27, 1935. When he was 11, his family moved to Westerlo to start a family farm.

“They wanted to be in the country,” said Mrs. Winters.

Mr. Winters tended to a garden and the animals his family kept, which included a few pigs and chickens. After living in a densely populated city with everything close by, Mrs. Winters said her husband didn’t like living in the country “that much at the time.”

He attended school at Berne-Knox-Westerlo for some time and later obtained a general equivalency diploma. He went on to work for Albany County and Montgomery Ward.

“That was a very tough time,” said Mrs. Winters, explaining that her husband worked several difficult jobs. He also delivered groceries and worked for a lumber company for some time, she said.

Mr. Winters eventually began working for Tice Trucking, and stayed there for many years. The company also happened to be owned by Mrs. Winters’s father. Eventually, the two would run into one another.

“He was just driving through Voorheesville and I was just walking down the street,” explained Mrs. Winters of how they met.

The couple married a year later, on Sept. 25, 1954; they were married for 63 years, their union ending only with his death.

After they were married, Mr. and Mrs. Winters bought a house in Voorheesville, where they lived for 20 years. After he was promoted to supervisor at the company Richmond Scale, Mr. Winters and his family moved to Virginia, where they lived for three years. His work involved calibrating truck scales, a skill he learned on the job.

“He was very bright,” said Mrs. Winters. “He just picked up things like that.”

The couple then moved back to New York, living in Alplaus in Schenectady County for about five years, where Mr. Winters owned and ran an auto body shop for a few years, before they moved back to Voorheesville.

While his children were growing up, Mr. Winters coached Little League baseball and was active with his children in other sports, too. Their son became an excellent soccer player, noted Mrs. Winters, and Mr. Winters played on a local team himself.

Every year for vacation, Mr. Winters would take his family to Schroon lake, where they enjoyed boating and waterskiing.

Mr. Winters retired in 1997, after which he dedicated himself to building a cabin in the Adirondacks. He had begun work on it before he retired, and it took him about a decade to complete. He even wired the building himself.

“He built my dream home,” said Mrs. Winters.

The cabin was located between Schroon Lake and Grant Lake, and the couple would split their year between the cabin and their home in Hudson, Florida.

Mrs. Winters said she was glad her husband could enjoy such a long retirement though they did have their hardships. Mr. Winters battled cancer for eight years, and the couple also had to hide out in a shelter when Hurricane Irma struck Florida this summer.

“He did not like that,” remarked Mrs. Winters, but she said they suffered no damages.

He was often found with his dog, Mindy, a Morkie — half Maltese terrier, half Yorkshire terrier — whom he would take with him while riding in a golf cart.

Mr. Winters took up painting in his retirement, depicting flowers and landscapes. Mrs. Winters described her favorite painting of his, portraying an old country house with laundry on the line, a stone sidewalk, and a dirt driveway, with leaves falling in the air.

He also enjoyed music and played the keyboard. He would play music at a park near their home in Florida or at local events.

“He made a lot of CDs,” said Mrs. Winters, who said her husband was always interested in music, and played an accordian before taking up the keyboard. Much of his family is also musically inclined, she said, including his siblings, children, and grandchildren.

“He liked oldies,” said Mrs. Winters, adding that he also liked to play hymns.

The couple liked to travel; for their 60th anniversary, they went on a trip to Maine. For their 50th anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Winters traveled across the country in a 30-foot motorhome for two months and saw “beautiful things in our country,” said Mrs. Winters, including Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, a redwood forest, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Arizona, San Antonio, Mexico, and New Orleans. They also stopped along the way to see smaller attractions.

“We did as much as we could in that trip … ,” said Mrs. Winters. “We just enjoyed all of it — one thing is as awesome as the other.”

****

Mr. Winters is survived by his wife, Janice Tice Winters; his children, Kim Behuniak and her husband, Nick Behuniak, of Coeymans Hollow; Tracy Sorrell and her husband, John Sorrell, of Hanover, Virginia; Heidi Gran and her husband, Richard Gran, of Loudonville; his six grandchildren; his four great-grandchildren; and his siblings, Carolyn Dearstyne of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Georgeann Moak of Connecticut; and Timothy Winters of Poughkeepsie.

His son, George “Skip” Winters, died before him; he is survived by his daughter-in-law, Mary Jo Winters.

A memorial service will be held on Feb. 17 at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of East Greenbush, 1 Gilligan Rd., East Greenbush, N.Y. 12061.

— H. Rose Schneider

More Obituaries

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  • VOORHEESVILLE — Beverley Mavis Carhart died peacefully after a brief stay at Kingsway Arms Nursing Home on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. She was previously cared for at her beloved home in Voorheesville surrounded by her family and friends. She was 88.

  • WESTERLO — Diane L. Wilms Figel, known as “Oma,” formerly of the town of Wright and more recently of Westerlo, “joined our Lord in eternal peace on Sunday, Sept. 6, at her home under the loving care of her husband, Jerry; her family; and hospice,” her family wrote in a tribute. She was 78.

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