And for as long as anyone can remember, with the exception of his time flying bombers over Germany in World War II, Paul Winters was the man in charge. He ran the family business, which began in 1908, until the late 1970s and gave out advice and a bit of wisdom while running a thriving plumbing and contracting business.
Paul R. Winters Sr. of Belmont and Hebron, NH. died after a brief illness on Oct. 13, 2013, surrounded by his family.
Winters was 95.
If there was a Belmont family that was involved in all aspects of the town – business and civic – the Winters would be that family, with Winters Sr. as its head. He and is siblings were lifelong Belmont residents who served in many capacities in town government and in the community.
Winter used that local business background to assist in the running of the town's bank, the Belmont Savings Bank.
"On behalf of the officers, directors and staff at Belmont Savings Bank, we extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Paul R. Winters, Sr. During his time serving on the Board of Trustees, Board of Investment, and Audit Committee for Belmont Savings Bank, Mr. Winters added significantly to the success of the Bank. We valued his friendship and steadfast dedication. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him," said Robert Mahoney, CEO and president of Belmont Savings Bank.
Born, raised and educated in Belmont, Winters was initially was drafted into the Infantry Corp in 1940 for a one-year enlistment, then to return to school at Northeastern University.
In 1942 Winters married his lifelong love, F. Janet Merrill. Shortly after their honeymoon, Winters was called to duty, and then enlisted in the Army Air force Corp as an Army Air Force Cadet. In 1943, Winters graduated from flight-cadet school, and was sent overseas to Europe, as a part of the Eighth Air Force, 100th Bomb Group, 350th squadron.
Flying B-17 "Flying Fortress'" The 100th distinguished itself with honor, but at an extremely high cost: The average life of an 8th Air Force B-17 crewman in 1943 was eleven missions while the 100th lost more than 180 crews with 768 men killed and 939 ended the war as POWs.
During this time the Group was involved in the epic air battles over Regensburg on Aug. 17, 1943 for which it received it first Presidential Unit Citation and the "Black Week" in Oct. 8 to Oct. 14, 1943 over Bremen, Munster, Marienburg and Schweinfurt in which the 8th Air Force lost 60 bombers.
Flying out of Thorpe, England, Winters and his crew flew out in March 6, 1944 for a very special mission, taking the fight directly to the enemy, destination Berlin, and Winter’s 25th mission. More than 700 bombers and 832 fighters crossed into enemy territory. Sadly enough, 69 Bombers and 11 fighters failed to make it back. Furthermore, another 317 bombers and 11 fighters returned with damage.
Because of his distinguished flying career, Winters was a recipient of two presidential unit citations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal, which was presented to him by General Jimmy Doolittle.
After 25 missions, Winters went back to the states and Texas to train flyers. In 1945, Paul was discharged soon after the end of WWII.
Like many other servicemen, Paul returned home to Belmont, bought a house, started a family, and raised two children, Marcia and Paul. Also, he ran the family enterprises, which included PR Winters Plumbing and Heating, and the PR Winters Hardware Store.
Along with being a businessman, Paul also was Belmont Building Inspector, a position that he held for a number of years. As building inspector, Paul’s responsibilities included:
• Inspector of Buildings, Grounds, and Custodians.
• Member of the Board of Appeals.
• Sealer of weights and measures
• Plumbing and Gas Inspector.
Winters was also a member of the Planning Board and of the Warrant Committee.
Along with town duties, Paul was a man of the community. He was a Mason, Trustee of the Belmont Savings Bank, a Rotarian for 28 years and a member of the Belmont Methodist Church.
Winters was a man who accomplished much, a man who kept his God, his country, his family and the “Good of Belmont” always in mind.
Paul Winters was a man who always focused on the mission.
Winters was predeceased by his devoted wife, F. Janet Merrill Winters. He is survived by his daughter Marcia Winters and her husband Martin Greco, his son Paul R. Winters Jr. and his wife Carol, his two granddaughters Hilary Brickley and her husband Eric and Heather Cummings and her husband Michael, his four great grandchildren, Sean, Jack, Mallory Brickley and Margaret Cummings. He is also survived by his sister Eleanor Newcombe.
Services and burial were private.
Donations in his memory may be made to The Autism Alliance of MetroWest, 14 East Central St., Natick, MA 01760. www.Autismalliance.org