Richard “Dick” Winters died on January 2nd, 2011. He was 92 years-old and had long suffered with Parkinson’s Disease. Mr. Winters was the commander of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division – landing at Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasions on June 6th, 1944 (D-Day). The family asked that the death not be reported by media until after his funeral. How wise is that? I’m sure the family spared themselves the vile Westboro Baptist Church cretins standing outside the burial spot.
The “Company of Heroes” and its leader became even more famous when Steven Spielberg’s HBO series, Band of Brothers, aired in ten parts in 2001. Damian Lewis played the part of Winters. The book of the same name by Stephen E. Ambrose was released in 1992. The book is on my list of forever favorites.
Winters always denied that he was hero, saying instead that he served “in a Company of heroes.” Later in WWII he served as Commander of the 2nd Batallion. He was married to Ethel Estoppey. They had two children. See an online tribute to Major Winters here.