Ben Winter

On this date in 1927, author and cowboy Bennie Nyles “Ben” Winter was born in Fox, Okla., second child of Charles and Hazel Winter. Growing up on a farm, he enjoyed roping cows and horseback riding. A quote above his rural elementary school entryway stuck with him, a catalyst for a lifetime love of learning and friendly debate: “Knowledge Once Gained Casts a Light Beyond its Own Immediate Boundaries.” Winter joined the Air Force in his late teens and worked in a print shop on Okinawa during the Korean War.

In 1949 he “stole” an Air Force buddy’s photo of a beautiful woman, Joyce Lynn Sadler, from Homer, Okla., whom he married that year. They had five children: Schahara Suzanne, Scheryl Sharisse, Scharmagne Suzette, Christopher Thomas and Schaunon Simone.

An entrepreneur at heart, even while employed in the oilfield, Winter was a successful horse breeder, trainer and racehorse owner with many visits to the winner’s circle. A self-taught artist and musician, he wrote many poems and stories, including the nonfiction The Great Deception: Symbols & Numbers Clarified. Over 13 years, he researched Josephus, the Christian bible, Strong’s Concordance and hundreds of other works.

He had been exposed to conventional biblical teachings, raised mostly in the Church of Christ: “What I was reading in the bible and what I was hearing from the pulpit did not coincide. When contemplating meaning, modern clergy and bible students subscribe to emotion rather than scholarly endeavor of which these ancient symbols resisted first century as well as modern interpretation.”

Winter died at the Ardmore Veterans Home on Sept. 5, 2018. Joyce, his wife of nearly 70 years, died in April 2019.

Freedom From Religion Foundation