"When you learn, teach. When you get, give." - Dr. Maya Angelou
Joseph Winfree Sr was a true gentleman. If he gave you his word, he kept it. If you asked, he answered. If you needed, he gave. Joe poured his heart and soul into his family and his work. He didn't do it for recognition or kudos. He didn't share his light with the world to pad his pockets or make it into some exclusive club. He did it to make our world better – and he did.
Joe loved to learn and he loved to teach. Most that knew him know he was a wealth of knowledge – a solid, dependable foundation – strong enough to move mountains with the work that he did helping people daily with his contributions as a medical professional. All that knew him know that, enveloped in his intellect, was a creative soul at the core. As we sit here, remembering him, it becomes more clear than ever that those qualities were the catalysts to Joe's ability to connect with people. Joe could connect with you if you were kind, or funny, or clever, or free-spirited, or level-headed because he exemplified all of those things. His smile was contagious, genuine and warm because it emanated from within. It illuminated the room; he was always on!
In life, some of the things near and dear to Joe's heart were the opportunities to make a difference for younger generations. It is apparent that children held a special place in Joe's heart by the way he interacted with them. If you've spent time with him around Christmas each year, you've probably heard about his infamous Santa impression! When he walked into that room, dressed as Santa, it was like kids (young and old) could just be kids for that moment. For that moment, those day-to-day things or struggles just melted away and there was only room for joy.
Creating those moments and memories are what life is truly about. Joe knew that... bet he still does.
While we're busy wrapping up his final expenses and arrangements, we can't help but feel that he'd want his legacy, that joy, to continue. There are creative projects that Joe was working on, prior to being hospitalized, getting them ready to show the world. Joe took care of the creative part. Getting them ready to show the world, well that's on us. Realizing the opportunity and gift he had, seeing children's eyes light up, that spark, when they get to be creative and learn something new, motivated Joe to put the pen to paper and author children's story books! Your donation will help Joe's smile, creativity and intellect continue to reach young minds and hearts in communities around Florida (and possibly beyond) through his children's books. Kids having fun while reading and learning is one of those moments... what it's all about.