Mr. Irvin Winston, the husband of Barbara Winston, passed away on Friday, September 18, 2020, at Savannah Memorial Hospital in Savannah, GA. A Memorial Service is Saturday, October 03, 2020, 12:00 (Noon), at Ridgeland Chapel Complex under the canopy. Allen Funeral Home of Ridgeland SC is in charge.
Irvin Samuel Winston was born on November 27, 1945, to the late Dock and Ethel Moore Winston in Creedmoor, NC. A rebellious independent thinker from the very beginning, he grew up creating the kinds of stories and memories that his siblings, family, and classmates still laugh about.
As a proud graduate of G.C. Hawley High School Class of ’63, this son of a sharecropper left the tobacco fields and headed to Morristown, NJ to find his fortune. His NJ adventures are the stuff of legends, and he loved the time that he spent there with the late Theodore Winston (Ruby), Jerry Winston (Luvenia), and the rest of his uncles, aunts, and cousins.
In the fall of 1966, he met Barbara Marie Sumlar while giving a friend a ride. Their instant dislike for each other blossomed into a 53-year love affair that spanned 2 children, 7 cities, 8 homes, and a lifetime of tears and laughter. Their love lasted through thick and thin, from using potato chip cans as furniture to building their dream retirement home in Bluffton, SC. Sam’s whole world changed when his daughters, Terra and Krista, were born. They were the light of his life and, according to him, the reason for his grey hair. Some of his proudest moments were watching his three ladies walk across their graduation stages at Mercer County Community College, Stanford University, and New York University (NYU).
In the Winston household, the line between friends and family was blurred. During your visit, you might have sampled Sam’s ever-evolving rib recipe or grabbed your fishing rod and headed to the river. You may have listened to his extensive record collection while reminiscing about his younger days playing the saxophone or dancing until dawn. Whether talking about cars, travel, work, or family when you were in his presence, you knew that you’d have a good time. Kids especially were drawn to and loved Sam’s playful spirit, and over the years he and Barbara “adopted” two daughters, Michelle and Kenya, that held a special place in their hearts. His generosity even extended to the larger community where he donated his time and treasures as a member of Campbell Chapel AME Church.
Sam’s determination and strong work ethic led him to a successful career at the United Parcel Service (UPS). He entered that world as a package car driver, exited over 30 years later as a regional manager, and in between had the ride of his life. Sam didn’t just drive tractor-trailers, he once took home the winning trophy at a truck rodeo. As one of the first blacks promoted into management, he battled racism on all fronts without losing his soul. (He may have lost his cool a few times…) Sam wasn’t just focused on his own career. He often advocated for other colleagues, quietly changing people’s lives without anyone knowing. Even after retirement, UPS was a big part of his life and he cherished the friends that he made along the way.
After 74 years of an amazing life, Sam took his rest on September 18, 2020. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Ernestine Roberts, and brother James McCoy Winston.
Sam leaves behind wife Barbara Winston, daughters Terra Winston and Krista A. Winston, “adopted daughters” Michelle Johnson and Kenya Hill, and grand kitty Cassie. His memory will be cherished by his siblings Robert (Bernadette) Winston, Percy Winston, Patricia (John Earl) Green, and William Winston. His love extended deeply to his in-laws (also known as “out-laws”) Jacqueline Winston, Dorothy Hill, Thelma Pritchard, Peggy (Robert) Vassor, Chan Sumlar Jr., and Theodore (Carrie) Faison. He will be sorely missed by a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and life-long friends including the Dardens, Gadsons, and Andersons.
Irvin Samuel Winston was fiercely loyal, frustratingly stubborn, loving, and generous. He was a natural-born leader, not because he wanted to be in the spotlight, but because he was always willing to take on the responsibility of getting things done. He delivered excellence and demanded the same of everyone around him. He was charming, charismatic, and confident. He was a role model to many and an enemy to some. Above all, he was unapologetically himself. He did things his way. And we loved him for it, and sometimes in spite of it.
We thank him for a life well-lived.
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