Springfield, MA- Kirk Handley Winchester, 66, of Deer Valley Road in Townshend, a native of Hingham, Massachusetts died unexpectedly Sunday night, March 17, 2019 at Bay State Medical Center.
Kirk was born in West Hartford, Connecticut on July 14, 1952, the son of Robert Curtis and Florence Joan (Handley) Winchester. He was raised and educated on the South Shore graduating from Hingham High School. He went on to attend Boston University and later graduated with a BA in Experimental Psychology from McGill University. He moved to Vermont in the 1970’s and was proud that both of his daughters were born in his adopted state.
At the time of his death Kirk was employed as Manager of Professional Astronomy for Omega Optical, Inc. in Brattleboro joining in 2001. Prior to that he was Development Officer at Kurn Hattin Homes in Westminster. He worked at Janos Technology in Townshend from 1981 to 1995 as Sales Manager.
Kirk loved music, playing the guitar, and singing with his family. He attended the Woodstock Music and Art Festival in 1969 which profoundly influenced his life. He was a World War II history buff and avid model builder, particularly of allied naval ships and tanks. He built a massive collection of models including a stunning rendition of the HMS Victory in 1:84 scale.
Kirk enjoyed collecting gems and minerals, a hobby he shared with his daughters. He was a voracious reader and was a font of knowledge on any number of subjects! An avid vegetable gardener he passed on his love of gardening to his daughters, and treasured the time they spent together there. He was enchanted by the natural world. Kirk was an accomplished actor participating in dozens of performances with Actors Theatre for nearly 40 years.
He was devoted to his wife and soulmate Sally and a proud, doting father to his daughters and son in law. Kirk was known for his generous spirit, intelligence, incredible wit, kindness, and easy going personality. He delighted in watching and identifying yard birds, fishing, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends.
On November 18, 1989 at the Historic Brookline (VT) Church he married the love of his life Sarah Margaret “Sally” Brown. Kirk, Sally, Sarah, Devan, and then Iain were a loving and devoted family. He was first married to Constance Marr of South Yarmouth who is the mother of his daughters.
Besides his adoring wife of 29 years he leaves two beloved daughters and a son in law, Sarah Handley Winchester of Shaftsbury, and Devan Marr Winchester and her husband Iain F. Tweedy of Townshend, all devastated by his sudden departure.
Also Kirk leaves a brother, Steven Curtis Winchester of Sarasota, Florida, and a sister, Lynn Winchester of West Brattleboro and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Additionally, he is survived by three cherished dogs Teddy, Remy, and Joey, as well as his shamelessly spoiled grand-dogs Rahma, Rita, and Little (a.k.a. ‘Sweet Pea’).
Friends are invited to call at the Atamaniuk Funeral Home on Sunday afternoon March 24th from 2 to 4 P.M. He will be interred alongside generations of his family dating back to the early 1800’s in a private family ceremony at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Littleton, Massachusetts sometime this spring.
Kirk was a generous organ donor and his family encourages everyone to check that box on their driver’s license. His final selfless act will benefit many.
To honor Kirk’s lifelong dedication to helping animals in need, memorial contributions may be made to Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or to German Shorthair Pointer Rescue of New England PO Box 5731, Wakefield, RI 02880.