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Gilbert G. Winter, Eden farmer, former fire chief

Aug. 2, 1931 – April 28, 2015

Gilbert G. Winter, a longtime farmer and school bus driver and a former Eden fire chief, died Tuesday in Mercy Hospital of Buffalo after a brief illness. He was 83.

He was born on a 23-acre farm along Eighteen-Mile Creek in the southeastern corner of the Town of Eden, where his parents, George F. and Julia Winter, had built their house during the Depression. He, along with his six brothers and sisters, worked in their childhood and years after on the almost self-sufficient farm. His father worked the farmland with a team of horses until 1939, when they purchased their first tractor. At a young age, he belonged to the 4-H Club and raised beef cattle to show at the Erie County Fair in Hamburg.

In 1950, along with his father and brother George, they bought a 200-acre farm in Orchard Park. Besides farming, Mr. Winter was a bus driver for Eden Central School for 38 years.

After retiring from Eden Central in 1992, he turned over the family farm to his son David and his family. The farm is still in operation today.

A life member of Eden Fire Company No. 1, Mr. Winter served as assistant chief from 1978 to 1984, and chief from 1984 to 1987. He was a member of the Erie County Fire Chiefs Association and past chairman of the Eden Fire Department’s Corn Festival, where he supervised the corn and french fry stand.

A longtime member of Immaculate Conception Church, he also enjoyed bowling, euchre, fishing, horseshoe pitching, snowmobiling, casino visits and going to the farmers market.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, the former Marjorie L. King; two sons, David and Jeff; a daughter, Kathleen Wagner; a sister, June Bowman; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in Immaculate Conception Church, 8791 South Main St., Eden.

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