In Memory

Don Winterton

Don Winterton

Don Winterton passed away on January 4, 2018. He was preceded in death by his father, William Gladstone Winterton and mother Frieda Sanik Winterton. Don is survived by his treasured wife of 30 years Lynne (Busta) Winterton, son Donald C. Winterton, daughter in law Oksana Winterton, daughter Jamie (Winterton) McGee, son in law Paul McGee, daughter Kaci (Byrd) Cheeseman, son in law Joseph (Bobby) Cheeseman and grandchildren Tyler Winterton, Faith Winterton, Ayden Winterton, Bryce Winterton, Anastasia Winterton and Meghan McGee. A native of New Jersey, Don later played basketball for the University of Tampa where his 1967-1968 team was inducted into the UT Athletic Hall of Fame. He received his B.S. from UT and M.S. from the University of South Florida. From teaching at Natures Classroom in Tampa to his retirement, he was devoted to education and the environment. As a cherished Teacher, Principal and role model he taught thousands of students in Florida at Pinetta Jr. High and Madison County High School, where he was selected three times as Teacher of The Year. He was also selected Florida Teacher of the Year. Well known for his knowledge and collection of reptiles and amphibians, including the filming of TV episodes on turtles, he taught respect for animals of all kinds to multiple generations of young people and adults. It was not uncommon for Don to be called upon across Madison County to rescue and relocate turtles and snakes and other creatures. Don built his home on a hill with his bare hands and raised three children who looked up to his six foot eleven inch stature literally and figuratively. He took his family on long camping trips often of 10,000 miles to see the country and appreciate the wilderness all the time collecting rocks, fossils, and scouring deserts and forests at night in search of interesting creatures. Don also developed a keen interest in space often hosting community members to his farm for meteor showers, comet sightings, and to learn more about space. He was also accepted to the Teacher in Space Program. He also gave space lectures at the Gulf Coast Exploreum. Don was an avid and loyal University of South Alabama Basketball fan. Always ever devoted to his wife Lynne, they spent time together gardening, doing puzzles and practicing their true love of one another. A Celebration of his Life will be held in the garden of their home for friends and family on February 2, 2018 at 2:00. The family asks that in lieu of flowers that gifts be made to Don's favorite charity KIVA, at to help fund investments to change lives and make the world a better place. Arrangements by Ascension Funerals & Cremations, 1016 Hillcrest Road, Mobile, Alabama 36695.


Published in the Mobile Register and Baldwin County on Jan. 14, 2018

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02/05/18 09:50 AM #1    

Bette Williams (McDermott)

A friend since grade school he will be missed. I was so very pleased to see him at our last reunion.

Just sent birthday wishes. Don was one always to reply. RIP, Donald. 


02/06/18 02:37 PM #2    

Kirk Hornbeck

We were good friends in grade school too and I enjoyed trading stories with him at the reunion.  Looks like he had a very good life!


02/06/18 05:02 PM #3    

Patricia D. Burke (Kuhn)

I reconnected with Don after our 25th reunion.  He was amazing!  I was so glad to see him at the last reunion.  I am so sorry to hear of his passing.  He threw me a small Summit football which he caught at the 25th reunion (?) SHS football game.  I will treasure it and remember him.

02/07/18 12:08 PM #4    

Burton Wiand

So disappointed to learn this news. I just wished him happy birthday. A good friend of whom I have great memories.RIP Don. Miss you. 

02/07/18 03:48 PM #5    

Monroe (Alex) Brown

I  was really taken back and saddened by Don's passing.  We had been emailing each other and become good friends again.  I was not aware of any life-threatening situation, so this really came as a shock.  Don was one of the best 'guys' you could ever know, and I will really, greatly miss him and the great kindness that made this man so special.  Rest In Peace my friend, and I hope I will meet you again in another time and in another place.

02/07/18 04:14 PM #6    

Laurence King

I was sorry to learn of Don's passing.  We worked together as biology lab assistants after school during our junior and senior years.  He really enjoyed setting up those labs and had a special way with nature.  I remember visiting Don in the 9th grade one time after school.  He sported a pet raccoon on his shoulder.  I was both impressed and awed.  He called me before our 50th reunion to get caught up and I reminded him about his pet raccoon.

02/08/18 09:43 AM #7    

John Batzer

I was surprised and saddened to learn of Don's death.  I first met Don in 1958 when we were in 6th grade at Brayton School.  We were good friends throughout junior and senior high school and kept in touch by email after it became available.  I'm so glad I got reconnect with Don at our 50th reunion.  RIP, Don.

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