2009-01-16 / Obituaries


Basil Jay Winston, of Pound Ridge, N.Y. died in the hospital as a result of complications during surgery on Dec. 31, 2008.

Basil was born August 4, 1934, in the Atlantic City Hospital. He grew up in Ventnor City, was a 1952 graduate of Atlantic City High School and a graduate of Rutgers University. After his college graduation, Basil proudly served his country in the National Guard. Following his service, Basil traveled to Europe, studying wine and was trained by noted name in wine, Alexis Lichine. Returning to New York, Basil served as vice-president and director of sales and marketing for Shaw-Ross importers. During that time he co-authored a book with Ross Firestone titled, "Getting Into Wine," published by Bantam Press. Highly regarded in the industry and recipient of many honors, Basil developed his own company, Kinnicutt Traders, Inc. Buyers and Sellers of Fine wine. Trusted and revered in the industry, he was often sought to appraise large wine collections and estate wines.

Basil was an avid sports enthusiast both as a participant and spectator. Every encounter on the basketball court, playing baseball, or lacrosse in his college days, and later running or playing tennis, was always the source for great conversation.

Basil is survived by his wife of 27 years, Dorthea, his son, whom Basil proudly referred to as his "Magnum Opus," Timothy Leonard Winston (Lily); the recent addition to his family, his brightest light, granddaughter, Kathryn Jade Winston; step-daughter Alexandra Elman; brother Joseph Winston (Sally), Fernandina Beach, Fla.; brother Edward Winston (Cheri), Englewood, N.J.; sister, Barbara Altman (Edward) Ventnor City, N.J.; half brother, Jeffrey Riegel, Sydney, Australia; sister-in-law, Patricia Winston, Annapolis, Md.; Uncle, Roland Slatkoff (Mary), Randallstown, Md.; as well as many cousins.

Survived by devoted nieces and nephews, David Winston (Chriss), Jennifer Altman, Dr. Daniel Altman, Judith Winston, Laura Winston (Larry Fine), Andrew Winston (Alison); grand nieces and nephews Ian Winston, Alicia Fine, Jocelyn Fine, Noah Winston, Erica Winston, Sarah Frances Winston and Julia Winston.

Basil treasured his lifelong friendships with Henry Belber and Richard Cantor and their families. Basil always appreciated the success and joy of his friends and family and was there offering strength for the sadness as well. Basil was especially proud of Henry's son, playwright Stephen Belber, and was so happy to be there for Stephen's opening nights on Broadway. Basil was a great supporter of theater, music and the arts.

Basil is predeceased by his parents, Frances and Leonard Winston, older brother Paul Winston, youngest brother Ted Winston, niece Debra Hope Altman, nephew Jeffrey Winston, and grand niece Samantha Winston.

Basil Winston, a devoted son, brother, uncle, nephew and friend will be greatly missed for his erudition, wit, gift of gab, his love of life, and his learned input into all social and political and literate matters. Basil was a kind, compassionate person, the ultimate showman, host and eternal optimist!

A tribute to the life of Basil Winston will be held in New York in February. Shiva was observed in Ventnor City at the home of Basil's sister, Barbara Altman.

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