Joe Everett Winstead was born in Wichita Falls, Texas to Leonard E.
Winstead and Nellie Helen (Reaser) Winstead on March 17, 1938. Thanks
to the quick actions of his mother, the deal his older sister, Janet, made to
trade her baby brother to a neighbor for a puppy fell through – much to
Janet’s chagrin! Joe went on to grow up doing all the things a kid in north
Texas might do – riding horses, hanging out at the local drug store, and
delivering telegrams during WW2. After high school he embarked on his
journey through higher education which never really ended. Following
Janet to Midwestern State University, Joe was mentored by Dr. Art Beyer
who was not only a teacher but also employed Joe on the grounds “Crew“
which, when not chasing jack rabbits on bush hogs, did its best to beautify
the campus. Joe played clarinet in the Midwestern band and was a
performer in the band’s Cavalcade of Melody shows (which may explain in
part his daughters’ careers in the performing arts and not the sciences!).
Joe then earned his MS at Ohio University, served as a captain in the US
Army, and survived (literally & figuratively) the PHD program at the
University of Texas.
After many years on the faculty of Western Kentucky University, Joe
ventured into the dark side of academia by becoming the chair of the
department of biology at Morehead State University. His fate was sealed
when he was offered the position of Dean of the College of Science and
Technology at Arkansas Southern University. When not annoying upper
administration on behalf of his students and faculty, Joe served terms as
president of the Kentucky Academy of Science, Southern Appalachian
Botanical Society and the Association of Southeastern Biologists and
endeavored to enlighten the creationists and climate change deniers of the
world. After retirement, Joe returned to the light by traveling, doing
consulting work, research projects, enjoying fine scotch whiskey, and
spoiling his dogs. Joe went that “big rodeo in the sky” on November 20,
Preceding him in death are sisters, Janet and Martha. Joe is survived by
his pesky little brother, Leonard (Butch) Winstead of Newscastle, Texas;
daughters Cynthia Backstrom-Winstead (Håkan) of Springfield, Missouri;
Courtney Cunningham (Dustin) of Orlando, Florida; wife Jessie L. Wren of
Westview, Kentucky; devoted step children and a menagerie of
grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In lieu of a funeral, Joe requests that you visit your local Waffle House or
Huddle House restaurant and have a piece of pie and a cup of coffee in his
honor. He also requests that you vote early and often! If you don’t like pie,
a donation to Hosparus Kentucky would be appreciated.