Ben Winters was an all-around great community guy in the Village of Lumby.
That’s the way Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster remembers Winters, born in 1932 and who died Monday, April 6.
Winters was a three-time councillor, first elected to village council in 2002, and he served on Foster’s last term as mayor of Lumby in 2005 before making the jump to provincial politics. Winters was re-elected in 2008, topping the polls among councillor candidates.
“Ben was the consummate community supporter/volunteer,” Foster said. “He was a great guy in the community, working on Lumby Days, the Lions Club, Citizens on Patrol, Meals on Wheels, and those are the ones just off the top of my head. He was a great councillor who worked hard for the community.”
Those words were echoed by current four-term mayor Kevin Acton, who worked on council with Winters from 2008-11.
“Ben was a genuine and caring man who I am very lucky to have worked with and call a friend,” Acton said. “He had a huge heart and always helped me through tough decisions. Ben was a good man, very sweet, and he was always so good to me.”
Retired from the now-defunct Lavington Glass Plant, Winters was also the “smiling face” in the heat, rain and snow, delivering newspapers to all the businesses in the village.
He would also become a constant and huge part of The Snac Shac family.
“I’ve had the store for 13 years and he helped out for probably 11 of those years,” said owner and operator Dawn McLean. “You could always find Ben helping the staff put away the milk order. He took our deposits to the bank every day — he still did that up until a couple of weeks before his death – and he was always sweeping up inside and out, and always shovelling in winter when we couldn’t keep up.
“Sometimes, he’d just sit inside the store having coffee and talking with people.”
A celebration of Winters’ life will be held at a later date.