Winston Churchill Burt, Jr., beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, and friend passed away peacefully on November 20th at Albany Medical Center at the age of 78.
Winston was born December 13, 1942, to Winston and Helen Burt in Albany, NY. At Guilderland High School Winston thrived in chess club and excelled in track and field, graduating in 1961. Prowess in billiards led Winston away from a traditional academic route at the University of Albany. He embarked on a long and satisfying career at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, retiring as Director of Computer Operations.
One night at local hangout Ralph’s Tavern, Winston found out how cosmically lucky he was. He met a dynamic and vivacious young teacher named Ellen Snyder. She dazzled him with her infectious laugh, enthusiasm, and love of sports. Ellen’s easy-going nature cemented Winston’s love for her, complimenting his own practical sensibilities. After an extended courtship, they wed July 31, 1971, in Newport, NY. They settled in Valatie, NY and raised two children together. Winston and Ellen shared a wide-ranging circle of friends and loved to entertain at their home. Winston delighted in making Ellen happy for the next 50 years.
As a young man, Winston discovered a natural aptitude for golf and loved its mental and physical challenges until the end of his life. He possessed an uncanny ability to recall every missed putt and enjoyed recounting each round at the nineteenth hole with his many friends. Golf had a vaunted place in his family, and he loved playing in annual family tournaments, a combination of his two favorite things. He also accompanied his son and played some of the finest courses in the world.
Winston organized and ran the Over the Hill Hockey Club for 35 years. Every Friday night in the colder months, he and his fellow over-40s laced up their skates and shed the stresses of the week. Other nights, Winston cooked delicious dinners for his family and always on the lookout for new meals to try. Every holiday season, he prepared amazing feasts and left behind a treasure trove of recipes.
Being the eldest of nine in a blended family, Winston shouldered many responsibilities growing up. His vigorous slate of activities were always secondary to his family. He coached, transported, and encouraged children Win and Mandy to explore their interests in sports, dance, art, and anything else they liked. He thrilled in taking his family on countless trips through the years. On one memorable trip out west, Winston showed his children the beauty of the country from the Grand Canyon to the Redwoods. The greatest gift Winston imparted to Win and Mandy was of his own example. Winston had a steel core of integrity and belief in doing the right thing.
Winston was predeceased by Ellen, his beloved wife of 50 years on August 3rd, 2021. He is survived by his son Winston Burt III and his wife Mikel, two granddaughters Morgan and Sylvia Burt, daughter Amanda Burt and siblings Charlene (Dave) Stevens, Steven Burt, Craig Peters, Kenneth “Ken” (Ronnie) Burt, David Burt, Kerry Peters, Janet (Bill) Fennell, Jeffrey “Jesse” Burt, and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Stroke Association.
Viewing hours will be held from 5-7 pm at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home at 1015 Kinderhook St., Valatie, NY. There will be an opportunity to share memories of Winston at 7 pm.