Aug. 10, 1917 — Feb. 19, 2014
Winston Emmet Grant was born Aug. 10, 1917, in Harlan, and he went from Harlan to be with his Lord on Feb. 19, 2014.
Winston was the oldest son of Leonard T. and Ruth E. Grant. He lived the majority of his 96 and a half years right there on the family homestead, and he lived that life to the fullest. He was a true rancher, which meant that he was a jack of all trades.
He grew up tending the livestock and working the land alongside his father, missing his seventh-grade year of school to run the ranch while Leonard had to work off the ranch. Winston grew up hunting deer and elk to help feed the family, and hunting cougar, bear and coyotes to protect the family and their livestock. His horses were his companions and his transportation.
As a young man, “Winnie” was imaginative and innovative, always tinkerin’ around in a shop. He fabricated a waterwheel to use in Grant Creek to charge batteries before electricity arrived. He bought a log truck, using it on the ranch and to supplement his income.
In 1952 he married Ruth M. Davis of Alsea. In addition to the ranch, they owned and ran the Harlan Store and Post Office. Winston was postmaster from 1961 through 1968.
In 1968, the family moved to Redmond, due to the health of their older daughter. The family had grown to two daughters, Pamela Kay and Starla Rae, and two sons, Sterling and Timothy. They bought a small ranch which served as a satellite ranch to the homestead, still hauling feed and cattle back and forth “over the mountain.”
Winston also had numerous “real” jobs while in Redmond, among them driving school bus and working for the state highway department. Obtaining his pilot’s license, he literally flew to work up on the Santiam Pass. He survived a plane crash in 1973, and was always quick to tell you that he was NOT the pilot! In 1979 Winston moved back to the ranch in Harlan. He married Lola Flolo in 1987, and they enjoyed his “retirement” years.
He helped out on the ranch, baling hay, “wrenching” in the new shop he built, and even herding sheep up in the hills one summer. He loved playing his fiddle. He had been in several Western bands in his younger years, and now he joined the Old Time Fiddlers Association, traveling the state for competitions and get-togethers.
Winston was a devout Christian, and was involved in starting a Fellowship of Christian Cowboys chapter. He loved to play his fiddle for the Lord, and he did so at his home church, the Chapel of the Valley in Harlan, every Sunday he was there, almost to the end. His love of flying took him to the height of owning several planes in his lifetime, and owning and running the Lebanon airport for two years.
Winston also had a life-long love affair with tractors, owning one of Harlan’s first, which he made himself before he bought one, and restoring an early model crank-start Allis-Chalmers at 93. He also had a show tractor that he restored, and a friend drove for him in several tractor pulls.
He also enjoyed cars — old cars, new cars, fast Willys Jeeps, etc. He belonged to the Corvallis Historic Auto Club, having bought a 1957 Ford Edsel. Winston loved to travel, and to visit people. He was quick-witted and feisty. He will be so missed.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother; his brother, Jack; and his second wife, Lola. He is survived by his first wife, Ruth; children, Pam McCoy-Grant of Kauai, Hawaii, Starla Sheppherd of Prineville, Sterling Grant of Harlan and Timothy Grant of Nashville, Tenn.; and stepchildren, Mark Flolo and Cindy Gadd, both of Camas, Wash. He leaves a legacy of nine grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Winston’s life will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Chapel of the Valley in Harlan. Donations in his memory can be made to the church or Samaritan Pacific Home Health and Hospice. Please leave your thoughts and memories for the family at www.mchenryfuneralhome.com.