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Winters served with pride

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Longtime magistrate known as a gentleman

By Danna Zabrovsky

Oldham County has lost a “gentleman’s gentleman” in Gilbert Winters, according to his colleagues.
Winters, who lived in La Grange and served a magistrate for 17 years, died Tuesday, April 12, 2011, at age 85.
He was a farmer and construction worker by trade, and served as a U.S. Marine in World War II.
“He always struck me as a very thoughtful and honest man,” said former magistrate Norman Brown, who worked with Winters on fiscal court, and was a magistrate from 1977 to 1998.
Brown said Winters was “a very Christian man,” who volunteered with The Gideons International, an organization dedicated to Bible distribution and evangelism.
He was a deacon at DeHaven Baptist Church.
In his time on fiscal court, Winters was very supportive of recreation for children.
He supported construction of the John Black Community Center and Aquatic Center, and of football and soccer fields in Buckner on property released by the reformatory, Brown said.
County government was also very important to Winters, who had a hand in a decision to refurbish the old court building and clerk’s office.
Former magistrate Bob Deibel, who served with Winters from 1990 to 1999, remembered him as a “gentleman’s gentleman” who didn’t get upset when he didn’t get his way in fiscal court.
Winters took new magistrates under his wing, guiding them through fiscal court procedures, Deibel said.
Rick Rash, who served with Winters from 1994 to 1999, remembered him as a man with purpose.
“Gilbert didn’t care about politics. To him it was, what was the right thing to do,” Rash said. “He was a stand-up guy, and he would do what he thought was right.”
Rash recalled the time Winters, despite resistance from some of his colleagues, encouraged the county to spend $250,000 to clean up 18 Mile Creek Road in Westport.
The project included installation of gabion baskets, which are chain-link baskets filled with rocks that prevent erosion of creek banks.
“We could have moved the road over and built a new road for $50,000,” Rash said, “but he got it done for his people.”

E-mail us about this story at: danna@oldhamera.com.