Anse Eugene “Windy” Windham, 76, of Kingsville died unexpectedly at his home on Sunday, August 17, 2014. He was born March 6, 1938, in West Monroe, Louisiana to Brealon and Viola Windham. He married Mary Frances Smith on October 12, 1963. Anse and Mary celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2013.
Anse joined the United States Navy in 1955 and was onboard the ZPG-2W blimp that crashed at Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey on November 21, 1957. He later served at Naval Air Station, Port Isabel, Texas and then served one year in New Iberia, Louisiana before transferring to Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, where he was stationed for five years and where both of his children were born. He next served in Long Beach, California for two years and was onboard the USS Hornet that picked up Apollo 11 and 12. He came to Naval Air Station, Kingsville, in March of 1970 and then transferred to Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico in 1975. He returned to NAS Kingsville in 1977, where he retired as an air traffic controller. He continued to work as an air traffic controller for the Department of Defense at NAS Kingsville until 1995 for a combined forty years of military and civilian service.
Anse selflessly volunteered his time in the Kingsville community. He served local youth as a Scoutmaster for Boy Scouts of America and the Young Eagles Program, where he introduced young people to aviation by taking them flying. He flew for Angel Flight and Air lifeline where he transported patients for treatment. In 1998, Anse was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce and the Kingsville Rotary Club. He also received the La Posada de Kingsville “Volunteer of the Year” award and received the “Otis West Lifetime Achievement” award. He served as Past President and present board member of the Kingsville Navy League, President of the Kingsville Convention and Visitors Bureau and President of the Friends of the Conner Museum. He was the Past President and Past District Governor of Lion’s Club District 283. As a Lion, He received the Melvin Jones Award for dedicated humanitarian service, the Ed Flood Award on behalf of the Texas Lions Foundation, and most recently, the Jack Wiech Fellow award for dedicated service to the children of the Texas Lions Camp. He also started the Pediavision Program which provided vision screening services to infants and children. Additionally, he founded the Dictionary Project to provide dictionaries to all third grade students in Kleberg and Kenedy County.
Anse was a native plant enthusiast and a Certified Master Gardener. In 2002, Anse received the “Texas Master Gardener of the Year” award. He served as President of the Kingsville Bird and Wildlife Club and planted hummingbird and butterfly gardens at local schools and retirement centers. He landscaped the Kingsville Law Enforcement Center and was instrumental in the development of an award-winning Kingsville Demonstration Garden in a city park. Anse may best be known as the “Engineer” of the train that he built to chauffeur Santa during the La Posada Christmas Parade and countless Porky’s Pack members around the track during TAMUK home football games.
Anse is survived by his wife, Mary Windham; daughter, Linda (Gary) Long, of Yadkinville, North Carolina; son, Brealon “Buddy” (Melissa) Windham; and four grandchildren, Nathan Long, Brealon Ashworth, Tyler Windham and Kaylie Windham. He is also survived by his three brothers; Charles (Pat) Windham, Rodney (Charlene) Windham, Martin (Dianne) Windham, and two sisters, Annette (Gary) Johnson, and Mary Elizabeth (Steve) Mizell and numerous nieces and nephews. In accordance with his wishes, friends and acquaintances are invited to a party to celebrate his life on Saturday, August 23, 2014, from 6:00-10:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall (1600 N. 14th Street) in Kingsville.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Texas Lions Camp (www.lionscamp.com).
The Windham Family is being served by Turcotte-Piper Mortuary, 205 General Cavazos Blvd., Kingsville, Texas. www.turcottepipermortuary.com/