Gene ardently pursued his love of New England archaeology. Influenced by stories of a native American who worked for his grandmother in Tewksbury, Gene began his lifelong study of Native American history. Gene first visited Andover’s Robert S. Peabody Museum when he was 11 years old, riding his bike from his home in Tewksbury. That visit kindled a lifelong interest in archaeology and history and Gene became a prominent figure in the archaeology of the northeast. He worked on projects with Peabody personnel like Doug Byers, Fred Johnson, and Scotty MacNeish. In the 1980s, Gene served as caretaker of the Peabody when the museum was all but closed, and again in 2002, Gene’s quiet strength helped guide the rebirth of the Peabody. Gene served as the institutional memory of the Museum itself and his knowledge was that of a New England Archaeology research library.
As Gene's knowledge of regional archaeology grew, so did his commitment to sharing it. Mr. Winter became an indispensable part of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society. Twice serving as president of the Society and later as the Museum Coordinator of its Robbins Museum of Archaeology in Middleborough, Mr. Winter dedicated himself to educating the general public about the archaeology and history of Massachusetts. He thoughtfully steered the Society through several episodes of growth and change, and oversaw the curation of more than 150,000 archaeological, ethnographic, and archival objects. But, for him and for the many visitors and students who came to the Robbins, these were not just objects behind glass. These artifacts preserved the history of complex and important groups of people whose legacy could still be felt.
Gene was an active member of the New Hampshire Archaeology Society since the mid 1950s and served as its president from 1975 to 1978. Gene played an important role in the creation of the Maine Archaeology Society in 1957, helping to change its status from a chapter of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society to an independent organization.