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Tom Winters remembered by family and co-workers
MARYSVILLE Workers at a local grocery store are mourning the passing of a local favorite who passed away on Nov. 5. Tom Winters worked as a courtesy clerk at the State Avenue Safeway store for the last seven years and was beloved by co-workers and shoppers alike. He was 82 years old.
Uncle Tom was a WWII veteran who loved his country and delighted a new generation with his friendly greetings and affable manners. Married for 57 years to his wife Dot, he had a long and varied career before putting on an apron at the Marysville grocery store.
Tom was a real loving, a real people person, said Kim Hoskins, a checker at the store for the last 12 years who worked along side Winters. We have a lot of kids in this area that are just lost without Uncle Tom.
His daughter Trina also works at the store and she recalled her fathers warmth and personality just days after he succumbed to cancer. His death came just a couple weeks before he and his wife were to celebrate 58 years of marriage.
Winters was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and served in the infantry of the U.S. Army in Germany during the second world war and was present for the Nuremberg trails. He graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelors of science in criminology and was a police officer with the city of Fresno. He had a couple brushes with fame in his lifetime; the first working as a bodyguard for the late actor Vincent Price; when the master of spooky movies wanted to show off his extensive art collection Winters would stand guard.
He did a lot of interesting things, said Trina. He was always busy.
In her teen years the Winters family moved to Sprague River, Oreg. where her father worked in sawmills and helped found many rural EMT programs, teaching classes at community colleges and the Oregon Institute of Technology. For fun he would ride in ambulances to help the new crews or to volunteer. Once coming on to the scene of a wreck near Medford he met the actress and singer Julie Andrews, who had been sleeping in the back seat of the family car when her husband slid off of the road. In his later years he slowed down a bit; yard sales were his big thing.
He loved to find great deals, said Trina.
He and his wife had six children, 16 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. The last great-grandchild was born just days after his death and was named Thomas in his memory; this was Trinas first grandchild.
Hoskins recalled Winters gentle touch with children.
Theres no way a kid could ever get out of there without a comment about how good looking the kid was, she laughed. Anytime the seniors would come in Tom would ask if he could carry the groceries for the man and his daughter. The women always got a kick out of that.
Tom and Dot Winters moved to Everett in 1984, and for several years he taught traffic flagging safety for Snohomish County for workers directing cars on county road construction sites. He did this for the county for eight or nine years and then for Everett Community College. He is remembered as being very patriotic and opinionated about his country, encouraging people to vote or keep quiet, according to his daughter.
The store at 1258 State Avenue has memorial and a guest book for visitors to sign.