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Suddenly and without warning on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, Michael Andrew Winstead slipped away from us and quietly made the passage to a better place, free of all cares and burdens.

Born June 2, 1961, in St. Louis, Mo., he spent most of his life in southeastern Virginia, graduating in 1979 from the former Pembroke High School in Hampton and making his final home in Gloucester County.

Previously a longtime employee of Patrick’s Hardware in Hampton and most recently of Newmoor Properties in Gloucester, he was passionate about football and baseball, never tiring of cheering for his beloved Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Cardinals. As much as he loved watching sports, he also enjoyed getting into the game himself, especially softball, volunteering as both a coach and a member of the Hampton Aces, and encouraging his daughters to try their hands at various athletic pastimes, as well. Always a bit of a daredevil, they remember spending many happy days with him at Busch Gardens, where he tamed the Loch Ness Monster and the Big Bad Wolf, enjoying ice cream on the Buckroe Beach boardwalk on summer days, and singing along with him to the weekly Top 40 Countdown on the radio. Fishing and country music were among many other interests that brought him happiness.

Mike will also be remembered for his intense loyalty to many lifelong friends, his enjoyment of a hearty laugh, being the best daddy he knew how to be, and his delight at becoming a grandpa.

He leaves behind his mother, Shirley Smith of Gloucester; step-father Ronnie Smith, also of Gloucester; daughters, Taylor Renee Winstead of Virginia Beach, and Courtney Nichole Pease, and her husband, Scott Allen Pease Jr. of Hampton; a baby grandson, Scott Allen Pease III, and another grandchild expected in the spring; his brother, Warren Anthony Winstead, and a nephew, Warren Andrew Winstead.

A memorial service was held on Monday, Dec. 3, at Hogg Funeral Home in Hayes.

Though the time he was with us was all too brief, Mike was easy to love, and we have many memories that we will forever cherish of our much-loved son, father, grandpa, brother, uncle and friend. The warmth of his smile will live on in his children, grandchildren and so many other lives that he touched.

“I thank my God for every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3