Lowell, MA — The gift of a great teacher is the ability to lead others to discovery and to share in the joy of that learning. Eugene “Gene” Chester Winter, Jr., was such a teacher. Soft-spoken yet deeply passionate about his work as an educator and as an archaeologist, Mr. Winter touched the lives of countless students, colleagues, and friends. Ever a scholar and gentleman, Mr. Winter, of the Belvedere section of Lowell, died February 24, 2014, after a lengthy illness at age 86.
Gene was born in Lowell in 1927 (he would be quick to tell you that was the year Lindberg flew solo over the Atlantic) to Eugene C. Sr. and Jesse Lennox Winter (nee Normandie). Raised on Shawsheen Street in Tewksbury, he attended Foster Grammar School, actively participated in the Boy Scouts and graduated from Tewksbury High School, Class of 1946. Gene played saxophone with the first Tewksbury High School band. He earned his degree in Music Education at Lowell State Teachers’ College supporting himself by playing the saxophone and clarinet in local clubs. After graduation, Winter joined the U.S. Army (1952 to 1954). He was stationed in Iceland during the Korean War, and he often said the Army must have had a sense of humor sending a man with the name Winter to Iceland.
After his military service, Mr. Winter began an educational career in Middleton, Mass., first as a science teacher and later as Principal of the Howe-Manning School, acquiring his Masters of Education from Boston University along the way. Towards the end of his career he left administration behind to return to the classroom, this time to teach music where he expanded the music program and started the school band. He retired in 1992 after 38 years. Gene was active in the Lowell Historical Society and presided as president at one time. He contributed to the preservation of Lowell’s industrial history and worked to help create the Lowell National Park. Gene also worked to establish the Tewksbury Historical Society, on whose Board he remained until his death.