Cover photo for Robert Winter's Obituary
Robert Winter Profile Photo

Robert Winter

July 17, 2011

Robert H. Winter, known to everyone as Bob, started his adventure on May 7, 1941 in Caracas, Venezuela, to parents Lea and Henry Winter. From the beginning, Bob was interested in life and all that there was to see and do.

While he was growing up, his family lived in many locations, both in the US and Venezuela. At one point his backyard was a Venezuelan jungle camp! He chose to finish high school in the States and graduated from Coral Gables High School in Florida.

He found his love of flying early, obtaining his pilot’s license at 18. At Yale, to accumulate hours in the air, on spring breaks he would fly college friends to and from the Caribbean, using his parents' home in Coral Gables as his “home base”. His mother never knew who or how many college kids would be sacked out in the living room, but she supported Bob’s taste for adventure.

Bob deeply felt the importance of being an American. Following graduation from Yale, he served in the US Army, stationed in Germany as a survey officer with high-level clearance in the Honest John Rocket Battalion. When he was off-duty, Bob was a flight instructor. In off-hours,he took great joy in testing all local beer establishments.

Wanting the adventure to continue, at his discharge, Bob stayed and worked in Europe for seven years. He lived in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium and later jokingly referring to his job as “laundering money”. It was all perfectly legal - he sold stocks and bonds. His sons, Robert and Scott were born while he was over there.

Eventually, Bob brought his family back to Miami where he continued in the financial field. A divorce moved his sons to Arizona, so Bob went west to be closer to them. He landed in Houston and prospered. There his career in real estate development began. His sons spent the summers with their father, learning the arts of craftsmanship, of construction. Many times they would take off flying somewhere “just to go and see”.

Always the entrepreneur, Bob and his business partner, Hap Parker, joint- ventured several projects. The most notable involved three office buildings in Corpus Christi.

Bob and his wife Denise met in Houston and married in 1991. They considered Houston their home until 1995, when they purchased the farm in Fayette County. They then spent a year driving up every weekend to kill mesquite, to make small improvements. Finally, in 1996, Denise and Bob made the permanent move to the farm. He shared the farm projects and chores with their 10-year old son, Drew. With his own toolkit, Drew worked with Bob learning the craft and construction skills so central to Bob’s life.

Bob delighted in his tractor with the air-conditioned cab and cup holder. But his plane was a never-ending occupier of his time. With it hangered only 15 minutes from the farm, if he wasn’t home or in Corpus, he could be found working on N7347P.

As President of the Fayette County Experimental Aircraft Association, Bob introduced the love of flying to the area’s kids through the Young Eagles Program.

He and Denise formed the Pecan Creek Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, a non profit organization, to aid animals in need. Every evening at the farm would find Bob, Denise and Drew, enjoying "happy hour" at the barn. Surrounded by rescued dogs and cats, talking about the day and plans for tomorrow.

Bob was a treasure, loved by family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Denise; by three sons - Robert and wife Maureen of Encinitas, CA; Scott and wife Marina of San Diego, CA and Drew of La Grange, TX; by three sisters, a brother and spouses: Helen and Terry Egan, Mary and Peter Arnold, Judy and Steve Walker, David and Patty Winter, who are scattered coast-to-coast; eight grandchildren, nieces and nephews, his business partner Hap Parker and many, many friends.

Bob felt so blessed to have them in his life.

In the coming weeks, there will be a celebration, for family and friends, of Bob’s life.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pecan Creek Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, Post Office Box 456, La Grange, TX, 78945.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Winter, please visit our flower store.

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