Colonel Curtis Mark
Alderson-Colonel Curtis Mark Winstead, USAF (Ret), 52, passed away Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2015, at his home in Alderson, following a long battle with cancer.
As the son of Margaret Holdorff Winstead and the late retired Lt. Col. Maurice Winstead, Col. Winstead was born on Oct. 16, 1962, at Orlando Air Force Base, FL, and moved many times during his childhood.
Col. Winstead was commissioned into the US Air Force on May 18, 1985, and served for 27 years as a combat weather officer. He survived the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11 and was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He commanded the 18th Expeditionary Weather Squadron during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 and served as an advisor to the Iraqi National Security Council during the surge in 2007 to 2008. During his final year in the Air Force, he commanded the Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. Col. Winstead earned several service medals, including the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars, and five Meritorious Service Medals. He also received a senior parachutist badge with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC.
Col. Winstead loved the Lord and believed in leading like Christ, through love, and is described by many as a spiritual leader and a strong Christian example both at home and on the battlefield. He was a dedicated husband and father; he was a friend, mentor, and leader to many, and was loved by all. Col. Winstead enjoyed travel, adventure and the great outdoors; running, cycling, backpacking or dirt biking at every opportunity. Always an active man and goal setter, he worked hard and retired young. He purchased his dream property in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia with his wife, where he roasted coffee, raised cows, chickens and bees, and enjoyed a self-sufficient life.
Col. Winstead is survived by: his wife, Theresa Gagnon Winstead and their two daughters, Laura Winstead Davis and husband Eric (USMC) and Christi Winstead; his mother, Margaret Winstead; and siblings, Debra, Jeff, Pamela, Tina, and Keith.
Memorial services were held Saturday, Mar. 28, at the Lobban Funeral Home Chapel, Alderson, where Colonel John McCain, USAF (Ret) and Timothy Luce officiated. Interment followed in the Mt. Zion Cemetery on Big Branch Road, Alderson, where full military funeral honors were conducted by the US Air Force Honor Guard, Andrews Air Force Base, MD. Funeral escort and flag line were provided by the West Virginia Patriot Guard Riders.
Friends called before the service Saturday, at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Christian Relief Fund, P.O. Box 19670, Amarillo, TX 79114-1670 (www.christianrelieffund.org) and to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 (www.woundedwarriorprorect.org).