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IN MEMORIAM: Ray Winchester, 82;

Avid Hunter, Fisherman Loved Nature

Ray Winchester fishing at his camp near Wells Bridge.
Ray Winchester fishing at his camp near Wells Bridge.

ONEONTA – Raymond L. Winchester, 82, an Air Force veteran who enjoyed his “little slice of heaven,” his camp near Wells Bridge, passed away on Thursday Feb. 11, 2016 at the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany.

Ray was born on Jan. 31, 1934 in Farmington, Pa., a son of the late Lereau and Bernice (Darling) Winchester.   He grew up in the Wells Bridge area and is a Unadilla High School graduate.

Ray enlisted in the Air Force in 1954.  He was stationed in post war Germany for most of his military career until his honorable discharge in 1957.

He came home and worked with his father at the mill for many years.  He also worked for various local businesses during his life, including Unilam, formerly Unadilla Silo Co.  Ray was also a business owner, at one time owning and operating a small engine repair company in Tennessee until retiring and moving back to New York to be closer to family.

Ray was an avid hunter and fisherman and just loved being out in nature, especially around his beloved camp outside of Wells Bridge.  Being at camp was his little slice of heaven and even enjoyed chores like chopping firewood for the camp’s heat.  In his later years, just sitting next to the fireplace stoking the fire made him very happy.  Ray also enjoyed watching NASCAR on TV.

He is survived by his eight children, Doug Winchester, Steven Winchester, Brent Winchester, Cheryl Winchester, Tom (Linda) Winchester, Kelly (Theo Martin) Patterson, Tony (Vicki) Winchester, and John (Anne) Winchester; his sister, Venie (Stuart) Rudnitsky; and two brothers, Ted (Renee) Winchester and Jim (Darlene) Winchester.

He is also survived by many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins, and by his special friends, Jack and Donna Cahill and Bob Sargent.

Ray was predeceased by two brothers, Charles Winchester and Lereau “Punk” Winchester, Jr.

A celebration of Ray’s life will be at 2pm Sunday March 6, at the Wells Bridge Fire Department, Wells Bridge, NY.  Memorial donations can be made in Ray’s memory to the Wells Bridge Fire Dept., 116 County Road 4, Wells Bridge, NY 13859.

Ray’s family would like to thank his friends and neighbors, Donna & Jack Cahill and Bob Sargent, for their friendship with Ray and their support in his care over the years.

To light a candle or to send an online condolence to the family, please visit our website:

Arrangements are by the Bookhout Funeral Home, Oneonta.


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