Winifred Alice Knight Rast
May 3, 1921- May 9, 2018
A Florida native, Winifred Alice was the first child born to Willie Mae and Frederick Thomas Knight in Lake Panasoffkee, Florida. Her paternal grandparents were David Thomas Knight and Alice Graham Knight of Sumterville, Florida. Maternal grandparents were Reverend James Walker Taylor and Lena Williams Taylor of Oxford, Florida.
She was educated at schools in Panasoffkee, Wildwood and Bushnell; graduating from Bushnell High School in 1940. In both high school and college, Winifred was active in Music, Theatre, Art and Home Economics; playing piano and singing in Operettas and glee club, as well as participating in many school plays and activities.
She completed two years at Florida State College (FSU) for Women, majoring in Home Economics. She also studied French and Philosophy.
Winifred left Tallahassee in January 1942 to wed the love of her life, her high school sweetheart, Bernard Howell (P.B.), son of Judge P.B. Howell, Sr. and Ruby Green Howell of Bushnell. They were married in Gainesville at the University of Florida Wesley Chapel. Winifred and Bernard moved to Leesburg, FL. in 1948, where he established a law practice. She has resided in Leesburg and Fruitland Park for life.
She is survived by their three daughters: Linda Alice Howell Myer White (Mike), Bell, FL., Margaret Louise (Peggy) Howell Farrell (Charles), Fruitland Park, FL., and Mary Clarice Howell, Leesburg, FL. Survivors include grandchildren: Dr. Allison Kathleen Peters (Brian), Ocala, FL; Brian Patrick Farrell, Ocala, FL; Harold E. (Hardee) Myer, III (Juanita), Hatchbend, FL.
Winifred is predeceased by two grandsons: U.S. Marine PFC Charles Joseph (Joey) Farrell and U.S. Army SFC Judson Lang Myer (widow, Marlene). They are greeting her in heaven!
Great grandchildren include our heavenly angel, Jennifer Michelle Tedeschi (1988-2016); Melanie Kate Myer of Portland, OR; Austin Lang Myer (Donna), Hatchbend, FL; Sabrina Lynn Myer (Darren Skawienski),Hatchbend, FL; Brandon Maxwell Myer, Clarksville, TN; U.S. Army SPC Joseph Andrew Myer (Katherine), Germany and Harley Lang Myer, Clarksville, TN.
Great great granddaughters include Riley Blake Myer of Germany and Sophia Jennifer Skawienski, Hatchbend, FL.
Winifred is survived by all of her siblings: Grace Wolford Podsiadlo,94, Clermont, FL; Freddie Thornton Leigh,93, Wildwood, FL; William (Bill) Mims Knight, 85, Gainesville, FL.
Nieces and nephews include: Shannon Thornton (Sue), Wildwood, FL; Randall Thornton (Linda) Lake Panasoffkee, FL; Janice Griffin (Bill) Rome, GA; Amy Coward (David), Columbia, SC; Karen Hitchcock 1956-1997, (Howard) Ocala, FL; Richard (Rick) Wolford (Kathy) Gainesville, FL; Tom Wolford, Winter Haven, FL; Carolyn Harmon (David) Clermont, FL; Robert (Rob) Wolford (Tammy), Apopka, FL: David Knight (Jenny), Atlanta, GA; Angela (Angel) Andrew (Brian) , Jacksonville, FL; Kevin Knight, Gainesville, FL.
Winifred is predeceased by three husbands: P.B. Howell, Jr., G. Bernard Galbreath and William (Bill) Rast.
She dearly loved her many step children and grandchildren from the Galbreath and Rast families. Mary Agnes Galbreath, 98, is also her “double” sister-in-law. Winifred held a special place in her heart for each one of these family members.
A lifelong member of the Methodist Church, Winifred faithfully served Morrison United Methodist Church in Leesburg and Community UMC of Fruitland Park, where she served for a time as church secretary.
In addition to her church participation, she was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader. Her involvement in civic organizations included the Junior Women’s and Triangle Clubs. She was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority, Aldersgate Emmaus, and Happy Hoedowners Square Dancing Club. She also loved to play bridge and was a member and officer of the Leesburg Art Association, serving as a judge for many Lake County art exhibits and shows.
Winifred was a 63-year Charter member of Chapter BH of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.
In 1967, she graduated from the University of Florida with a B.A. degree in education. Winifred taught Art at Beverly Shores, Rimes, Dabney, and Fruitland Park elementary schools. She also taught at Tavares Middle School, Tavares High School and Lake Sumter Community College. In 1988, she retired from a rewarding teaching career.
Always joyful, with a positive outlook, Winifred loved every aspect of life and the people in it, whether they be close family, extended family, or just passing acquaintances; always willing to lend a helping hand. She enjoyed cooking, entertaining, gardening, traveling, fishing and camping.
Winifred never missed the opportunity to travel. She visited all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and most of the European countries. Forever the gracious hostess, she always placed the needs of others beyond her own. She was an accomplished Artist, photographer and writer.
Winifred Alice loved God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength and she loved others more than she loved herself.
There will be a Celebration of Life at the Community United Methodist Church , 309 College Ave, Fruitland Park, FL 34731 on May 18, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Lunch will follow the service.
The Hospice Angels on the Lavender Team of Cornerstone Hospice were an amazing blessing to Mom and the family for the past 2.4 years of her life, and the family requests that any donations be sent in her name to: Cornerstone Hospice, 2445 Lane Park Road, Tavares, FL 32778 352-343-1341.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Beyers Funeral Home, Leesburg, FL.