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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2018 5 months ago

Obituary: Kenneth R. Wingate

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Mr. Wingate, 74, of Winter Garden, died Sunday, June 17, 2018.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

Kenneth R. Wingate, 74, of Winter Garden, Florida, was invited home by his Lord on Sunday, June 17, 2018, after a long-time battle with leukemia. He died peacefully in his home surrounded by all his beloved family.

Ken was born June 14, 1944, in Zolfo Springs, Florida, to Reuben A. “Ray” and Jewel G. Wingate, who will welcome him into heaven.

He is survived by his wife, Bonny L. Wingate; daughters Lisa (Russ) Ward and Sharon (Bill) Lowe; and grandchildren, Michael Wingate, Alex Ward and Kaitlin Ward. He was also survived by his sister, Loretta Parrish; and brother, Don (Carole) Wingate.

Ken and Bonny were married April 19, 1967, in Hallstead, Pennsylvania, and lived their life in Ocoee and Winter Garden, Florida. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in the home of Don and Carole Wingate surrounded by many who spoke of his kindness and generosity and how much he had changed their lives with his wisdom and example.

Ken served West Orange Church of Christ as a Deacon from January 1994 to September 1997; and, as a Shepherd from September 1997 to December 2016, when his health forced him to step down.

However, he continued to teach and influence others to the end of his days.

Ken did not know it at the time, but his great blunder around age 17 set up his life career.  At the advice of an older cousin, he drove Dad’s car into the creek at a point that was quite deep, sinking the car to the top of the roof. Dad made Ken spend the entire summer taking the 1956 Plymouth apart piece by piece, marking every piece, cleaning every piece and then putting the entire car back together in running order.

That summer, the only way to talk with Ken was going into the barnyard while he worked. He did it, and the car ran for years.  

After leaving college, he and a friend opened his first auto repair shop in Wauchula, Florida, around 1964. He moved to Orlando, Florida, and worked at several jobs in the tire industry from 1968-74 (Goodyear, Uniroyal Tire, Pan American and Radial Tire Center).

In 1974, he opened Muffler Man & Wholesale Tire Company on West Colonial Drive in Pine Hills, Florida. That venture was so successful that he opened a garage in Longwood and Wingate Automotive Supply Company in Pine Hills.

Over the years, Ken formed a partnership with his brother, Don Wingate, and they invested in other ventures, with one being Run-A-Bout Auto Mart in Ocoee, Florida. It is good to know that the mistakes of youth can be the reward of adulthood.

In 1984, Ken also formed a partnership with his parents, brother Don and sister Loretta Parrish in two companies: Lakendon Inc. and Wingate Rentals. Through those, they bought and developed various commercial properties in Ocoee, Longwood, Port Orange, Wauchula and Orlando.

Ken has been retired from his ventures for the past few years due to his health issues.

Outside of work and family, Ken loved fishing, travel, playing cards, shooting hoops and attending Magic games. But, his real interest was in study of the Bible, which he did for hours on end.

The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hospice or to West Orange Church of Christ. Ken never wanted attention to be on him but always wanted it for others, so to honor him will be to honor that he loved.

Memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. June 22, 2018, at West Orange Church of Christ, 1450 Daniels Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787; phone, (407) 656-2770. This will be followed by a big celebration of his life in Odom Hall. Dinner will be provided, so please come with your favorite Ken Story and a big appetite. He is paying for everything and wants all his friends and loved ones to rejoice with him one last time before we all meet again.

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