5 February 1911- 14 September 2006
Geoff Winsor was the first child of Wilfred and Mabel Winsor, who were both born and raised in Devon. Geoff grew up in Fareham, Hampshire near his father's work at the office of the Great Western Railway. Geoff and his younger brother Ronnie attended Price's Grammar School where Geoff had an explosive career, destroying the school chemistry lab. Despite this, he became Head Boy and won an Exhibition to Oxford. Being unable to finance a university education, Geoff passed the Civil Service Examination and became an officer in HM Customs and Excise.
In a career of 42 years, Geoff rose from visiting distilleries, checking specific gravities with his hydrometer, to working in the Customs Houses of ports such as Hull and Edinburgh, to becoming Inspector of Customs and Excise in the London Head Office.
On 27 August 1938 Geoff married the love of his life, Barbara Monica Cooper, schoolteacher and daughter of William Cooper, chemist and metallurgist at Portsmouth Naval Dockyard. With faith in the future and little money, Geoff and Barbara were blessed with three children, Brenda, John and Helen, and the family lived at Stoneleigh, near Ewell, Surrey.
Geoff was always active and interested in sports. In his younger days while he was playing hockey a stray ball hit his jaw and he almost lost his tongue, which was stuck out between his teeth in a determined expression of concentration I Fortunately the tongue was saved and Geoff put it to good use in his next sport, cox for a rowing team.
Geoff had a love of sailing and took his family on several Norfolk Broads holidays. He was a founding member of the Littleton Sailing Club (near Chertsey) and the Civil Service Sailing Association. He raced an Enterprise sailing dinghy, and organised the Customs Sailing Team which won several Civil Service Championships.
From 1969 Geoff cruised and raced his beloved Elizabethan 29 yacht "Charlotte Amalie" having many adventures at sea and in ports along the English Channel.
In 1982 Geoff and Barbara moved from Reigate Surrey to Totnes for a peaceful retirement in Devon, which held pleasant memories of boyhood holidays. In Totnes Geoff and Barbara pursued their lifelong passions for walking, gardening and music. They met many wonderful new friends, with the Totnes Ramblers, Dartington Arts, Probus and Totnes Museum. Geoff's long life was blessed with 6 grandchildren - Mathew Polly and Alice, Sarah and Martin, and Don, as well as 3 great grandchildren - Jackson and Rosa, and Emily. Geoff and Barbara celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary on 27th August 2006.
In conclusion, Geoff was a true gentleman. We will miss his friendly charm, sense of humour, zest for life, courage, integrity, and most of all, his love.