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Walter Harrelson Winburn

SHARON — Walter Harrelson Winburn, 99, died July 8, 2020, in Sharon.  

Walter was born in Montclair, N.J., to acclaimed photographer Jay Te Winburn and Gertrude Gardner. Shortly after, they moved to New York City, N.Y. Walter attended high school at The Hotchkiss School, where he was introduced to the Northwest Corner. His family then moved to Sharon. He received his baccalaureate degree from Harvard University, and his master’s degree from Columbia University. 

Walter is a veteran of World War II. He began his military service as a glider pilot for the Navy. The Navy discontinued this program after his training, due to the danger of the missions. Walter transferred to the Coast Guard, part of the Navy during World War II. He was deployed to Europe and to India.

Walter met the love of his life, Janet Clothier Winburn, in Sharon. Walter took Janet to The White Hart for their first date.   They were married at the Sharon Episcopal Church in 1949.

Walter and Janet were involved in the Sharon community. Walter helped build, and was part owner, of the Sharon Playhouse. Both Walter and Janet were integral in the success of the playhouse.

In the late 1950s, Walter and Janet moved to New Jersey, so Walter could pursue employment at Dupont as a chemist.  He then went on to become a chemistry and physics teacher at David Brearley High School in Kenilworth, N.J., where he was also the tennis coach. 

Walter and Janet spent summers and weekends at their Sharon home. They moved to Sharon as full-time residents in 2009.

Walter was a man of many talents. He built a 25-foot sailboat, a fold boat, and a harpsichord. Walter ran three New York marathons, and played the piano and violin. 

He traveled cross-country on a motorcycle at the age of 50. In his later days, Walter was happiest tending to his garden and his peach trees. 

Walter was predeceased by his wife, Janet; and his brothers, Jay Te Winburn Jr., Richard Winburn and George Winburn.  

Walter is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Tanzer, and her husband, David Tanzer; his son, Simeon Winburn and his wife, Catherine Winburn; and his grandchildren, Marcus, Christina and Nicholas Winburn.

The Kenny Funeral Home in Sharon has care of the arrangements.  

Memorial donations may be made to the Sharon Fire Department and Ambulance Squad, P.O. Box 357, Sharon, CT 06069.

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