Pima Monthly Meeting
Robert (“Bob”) Stine Winchester was born in August 1924, in Albany, New York, to Lois and Harold Winchester. He graduated from Albany High School and entered Wesleyan College, but then served in WWII as a pilot in the 9th Army Air Force, for which service he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross Air Medal. After the war, he returned to Wesleyan and went on to graduate studies in Public Administration at Syracuse University. He married Ann Robinson in 1949, and served in the Air National Guard from 1950-53.
With a professional career as a management consultant in human resources, budget and fiscal matters, and organizational development, Bob moved many times to work in various cities, including Chicago, where he met Louise David, whom he married in 1967. Bob and Louise spent a number of years in the Washington, DC, area, where they were active with the Reevaluation Counseling community, and Bob was a member of the Friends Meeting of Washington.
A life-changing reaction to chemical overexposure in 1976 resulted in necessary moves to other parts of the country in search of a non-toxic environment. In 1981, Bob and Louise came to live in Patagonia, Arizona, where he was active in the community despite lingering chemical sensitivity. Bob transferred his membership from Friends Meeting of Washington to Pima Meeting in 1983.
Bob shone with positive light and life, and music flowed through and around him. He sang with major choirs and orchestras, including at the National Cathedral under the direction of Leonard Bernstein and at the Lincoln Memorial at the memorial service for Robert Kennedy. In Arizona, too, he participated in many choral performances.
In 1990, Bob obtained an MS degree in Counseling from the University of Arizona and, in addition to a counseling practice, served on boards of the Pima Council on Aging and the South Eastern Arizona Behavioral Health Services. He also worked with the VA to set up a counseling program and PTSD support group at Davis Monthan Air Force Base.
Bob and Louise eventually moved from Patagonia into a retirement community in Tucson, and in the last years of his life, Bob was able to attend meetings for worship at Pima where his vocal ministries, spoken with a resonant voice, were a joyful inspiration. When he participated in a program of spiritual story-telling at the Meeting, he spoke movingly of how music had always sustained him and had become part of his own reconciliation with difficult war-time memories.
In about 2006, Bob was diagnosed with bone cancer, and he died in February 2011, in Tucson. Predeceased by first wife Ann Robinson and son Richard David, Bob is survived by his wife Louise Diane Winchester, son Dennis David, daughters Robin Winchester Burchfield (wife of Robert), Starrly Winchester, and Libby Winchester McDowell (wife of Michael); grandchildren Carl Yetter III, Korena David, Brian Yetter, Emily McDowell and Andrea McDowell; and great granddaughters Natalie Szerszenski and Emily Burchfield.
Despite the difficulties he faced, Bob looked for the joyful aspects of life and was a positive, empathetic presence among us.