Gene Winland, president of the Florida Annual Conference United Methodist Men, died Jan. 12 in St. Petersburg, Fla., at age 72.
Gene served as scouting coordinator for the Florida Conference and Southeastern Jurisdiction, and he was a life member of the National Association of United Methodist Scouters (NAUMS) and president of the Central Florida Chapter. He served as vice president and secretary of NAUMS, and he was beginning his fourth term on the NAUMS Board of Directors while serving as chair of the Nominating Committee. He also served as a staff member at six Boy Scout National Jamborees.
Most recently, Gene helped operate a display area for the Commission on United Methodist Men at the 2012 General Conference in Tampa.
Gene grew up in Woodsfield, Ohio. He graduated from Woodsfield High School where he was class president for all four years, awarded the Leader of Tomorrow award, played basketball, and played 1st trumpet in the high school band.
He graduated from Marietta College with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and math, and then went directly into the US Air Force. After Officer Training School, he and his wife, Martha, started on their world spinning life at various locations where his two sons were born along the way – Scott in 1963 and Brian in 1965. His tours of duty were: Keesler Air Force Base (AFB), MS, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Alabama, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam, Korat AFB, Thailand, Offutt AFB, NE, Hanscom Field, Massachusetts, Ramstein AFB, Germany, Pentagon (two tours), Warren AFB, Wyoming, and Yokota Air Base, Japan. Gene retired after 30 years of dedicated service to the United States of America.
Gene and Martha retired to St. Petersburg where they have resided for the past 21 years.
Gene was active in his church currently serving as scouting coordinator. In the past, he served as lay leader and a member of the Board of Trustees.
Gene is survived by his wife, Martha, son Brian and his wife Darla of Wildomar, Calif. and grandchildren Leigh of California, Zachary and Rachel of Virginia. Two step-grandchildren and four step-great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Gene’s Memory be made to: Florida Conference United Methodist Men 450 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave Lakeland, FL 33815 or Boy Scouts of America West Central Florida Council 11046 Johnson Blvd Seminole, FL 33772 or American Diabetes Association 1511 North Westshore Blvd Suite 980 Tampa, FL 33607