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Willie Winkles

Death 11 Jan 2012 (aged 90)
Burial Big Stone Gap, Wise County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 100377357 · View Source
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NORTON, VA – Willie Winkles, 90, died Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 at Wellington Place in Kingsport, TN. Willie (known as Lefty) was a native of Guntersville, Alabama. He was born October 31, 1921, to the late John H. Winkles and Kasey Sims Winkles. He spent most of his adult years in Norton after completing a decorated Navy tour during World War II. He met and married his wife, the former Trula Spears, a Norton native, in Washington, D.C. following his discharge. Trula preceded Willie in death in 2004.

Upon his arrival to Norton he started pitching for the Dorchester Cardinals of the Lonesome Pine League sponsored by the Wise Coal & Coke Company. He was with Dorchester three years beginning in 1947, Dixiana one year, and the Norton Braves his final two years before he was offered a contract with the Boston Braves to pitch for their Double A farm club in Atlanta. Due to family reasons he declined and remained in Norton as a career employee/owner of Daniels Plumbing and Heating and was a long-time member of the Norton Lion's Club. He was the last known surviving member of all the coal company sponsored teams in Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. He played with his life-long friends like Jim Daniels, Red Brooks, Cliff Stallard, and Roy Flanary, his catcher.

Willie spent his senior years caring for his late wife and playing golf with his many friends at Lonesome Pine Country Club in the infamous "Shootout Group." His number one partner and cart-mate during most of this time was W. Jack Davis, whose companionship made his last golfing days very special.

His last wish was being selected to meet the Atlanta Braves Team during spring training by Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime Foundation. He was not able to make the trip, but did receive some nice items of Braves' memorabilia during his "call-up to the Braves" ceremony.

In addition to his wife he was preceded in death by a brother, Homer Winkles of Rainsville, AL and a sister, Roslyn Bowen of Hinesville, GA.

He is survived by his son, Mark Winkles of Kansas City, MO; a daughter-in-law, Kelly Winkles of Kingsport, TN; 3 grandchildren, Eric Winkles Boggs, Marion, VA, Erin Winkles of Martin, TN, Jonathan Winkles of Johnson City, TN; 4 great grandchildren; 2 brothers, O.A. Winkles of Milton, FL, K.B. Winkles of Dallas, TX; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 6-8:00 PM Friday at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home. Committal services will be conducted at 1:00 PM Saturday at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens Mausoleum with military rites conducted by Gate City National Guard Funeral Honors Team and local veterans groups. Entombment will follow in the mausoleum. Family and friends will meet at 12:30 PM Saturday at the funeral home to travel in procession to the cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Church of God, P.O. Box 857, Norton, VA 24273; or to West Colonial Hills Baptist Church, 1202 Kendricks Creek Road, Kingsport, TN 37663.




  • Created by: Helen Collins
  • Added: 8 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100377357
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Willie Winkles (31 Oct 1921–11 Jan 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100377357, citing Powell Valley Memorial Gardens, Big Stone Gap, Wise County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Helen Collins (contributor 47660252) .