Robert Alexander Winesett Jr.

Fort Myers Kiwanis Club Incorporated (August, 2001)
Vice-President FY 2007-2008
President FY 2008-2009

Born 10-Sep-1941
Son of Robert A. Winesett and Elsie Ruth (Withheld)

Married 6-Jan-1966 Song Ok Withheld
Born 23-May-1939 and still alive
Daughter of Young Dae Withheld and Sun Dok

New Year's Eve in Germany 1970 and in Tampa, Florida 1986
Robert & Song with Children 1979
Robert & Song with Children 1989
At Bucky & Sharon's pre-Christmas Dinner, Dec. 14, 2002

Robert was born in Plymouth, a small town on the Roanoke River in Washington County, North Carolina. Robert fell from the top of the slide and suffered a multiple fracture of his left arm on the first day of the first grade of school. He spent a month or so in the hospital in Raleigh and wore a cast for several months thereafter. He worked from a very young age in the family grocery/meat market in Plymouth. At one time his father opened a fish market in Tarboro where Robert spent the summer operating the store with Henry Singleton, a young man with little experience. The fish market failed.

The family moved to Florida in 1955, the children rode on matresses interspaced with the furniture on the back of a large truck and covered with canvas - not unlike the Okies described in the "Grapes of Wrath". The family lived at an apriary in the contry outside Fort Pierce. Robert and brother, Ricky, helped work bees for their father's employer. They had the primary responsibility for extracting honey from the frames even though unpaid.

Robert attended schools in Plymouth, NC; Hickory, VA; and Fort Pierce, Moore Haven, Stuart, Okeechobee and Punta Gorda, in Florida. Whenever possible, Robert took jobs after school in addition to working the family bees. One summer, not revealing his true age, he worked in construction first as a laborer, then a carpenter helper and finally as a carpenter apprentice. Robert did not return to school for his junior and senior years in order to help with the family finances.

Construction at Port Charlotte closed down in late 1958, in March of the following year, Robert joined the Army and took basic training in Fort Jackson, SC. He was assigned to an air defense nike ajax missle unit just outside the Newport News, VA, and served there and at Hamilton Roads Army Terminal in Norfolk until his discharge. Not finding satisfactory work in the Tidewater area, Robert reenlisted for an assignment to Korea. At Oakland Army Terminal he found Frank Pierce Winesett's name in the telephone book and called him. They discussed members of the family including Eli Winesett, the bicycle racer, Robert's grandfather and Pierce's uncle.

Robert served on active duty until retiring as a master sergeant in 1980. He served in Korea, Germany, Taiwan, Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Germany again, Viet Nam, Korea again, Fort Gordon in Georgia, and finally at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He was a communications center specialist, courier, cryptographer, military instructor, platoon sergeant, company and battalion operations sergeant, first sergeant, area communications chief and instructor in military science at the United States Military Academy at West Point during his career.

Shortly after reaching his first duty station, Robert took the high school GED and college GED. Through out his career he took advantage of military eduction including Army correspondence courses. While overseas he attended extension classes through the University of Maryland in Germany, Viet Nam and Korea, earning his BA - and induction into Phi Kappa Phi. While serving at the Signal Center and School in Fort Gordon, GA. Robert attended evening and weekend classes through Pepperdine University earning a MA in human resource management.

On terminal leave in August, 1980, Robert entered the University of South Carolina School of Law. He attended both regular and summer sessions earning his juris doctor degree in December, 1982. Admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983, Robert practices law with his brother, Richard and sister-in-law, Sherra, in Fort Myers, Florida. Just short of 70 years of age, Robert continues to practice law.

Robert's hobbies include bowling, reading and working on the family genealogy and history. He enjoys other cultures and has some facility in Chinese, Korean and German languages, written and spoken. Robert enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, nephews and nieces, and their children. Robert is a member of Kiwanis International, reads to kindergardeners, participates in "Prayers in a Backpack", volunteers to teach Junior Achievement in local schools and other charitable activitiesa.

Song called Oki was born in HwangHaeDo in what is now North Korea. She attended Ewha Women's University in Seoul, Korea, and Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. Both of her parents were teachers. Engineer, medical doctor, nurse, pharmacist and teacher are common occupations in her family. All of her surviving brothers and sisters now reside in the United States.

Over the years Oki has worked as a data processor, sales clerk in the Post Exchange, sewing machine opertor, machinest, jewelry sales person, diamond consultant, and rural mail carrier. She retired from the Postal Service in 2006.

All of Oki's sisters and surviving brothers met in October, 2000, in New York City for the marriage of her 2nd brother's daughter. They talked almost all night and most of every day until everyone had to return home. Other family gathering have taken place without everyone being able to attend for the marriages of various nephews and nieces in Madison, WS; Atlanta, GA; New York, NY; and twice at the United States Navy Academy in Anapolis, MD. Other family gatherings have taken place in Madison, WI; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; and Groton, CT.

Bob and Oki's children are:

1. Robert Alexander III, (9-Oct-1967);

2. Sonia Lee (27-Mar-1969); and

3. Ronald Leigh (18-Jul-1973).

Robert III called Alex was born in TaiPei, Taiwan. Ron was born in Seoul, Korea. Sonia, born in Port Charlotte, Florida, is the only child born in the United States.

Sonia is a graduate of the University of North Carolina. She is pursuing a career in film media. She lived in the Big Apple (New York City) for several years as a free lance producer. Traveling over much of Europe and Asia during gigs. She has produced commercials, viedo musicals and fashion shows. Whenever she can make time, Sonia works on her own script and has completed a novel and is working on a second. Hopefully they will be published in the near future. Sonia settled in Los Angeles, CA, but recently moved back to New York City. Her blog is L.A. Pie Story.

Sonia and little cousin Noah - Thanksgiving 2001


Sonia Plays Little League

Sonia Wins Bowling Tournament

Family Photographs

Robert's 2001 Christmas in Germany

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