John Winter (meteorologist)
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A native of Seminole, Florida and an alum of Seminole Senior High School, Winter was a Bachelor of Arts graduate in the field of meteorology at the University of Kansas. He began his career as a television meteorologist at KGBT-TV in Harlingen, Texas, working there for two years before moving to the Tampa area in 1994 and joining WFLA-TV. During most of his career in Tampa Bay, he was the morning meteorologist for WFLA-TV, occasionally substituting on the evening editions. Winter held the Seal of Approval from the American Meteorological Society.
In addition to his meteorological career, he was also a co-owner of "Big U Media", an advertising firm that he co-owned with a friend and WFLA-TV colleague. He was also a member of a local charitable organization and Gasparilla krewe, The Rough Riders, who help underprivileged and sick children by distributing teddy bears at homeless shelters and in hospitals.
An avid animal lover, Winter featured an animal up for adoption for each hour of the morning show during his weather segments on behalf of local animal shelters. The adoption success rate was outstanding.
Winter was a graduate of the University of Kansas and was an diehard Jayhawks fan. Often he had his KU coffee cup on set during broadcasts. Rock Chalk, John!
On April 5, 2007, as deputies pounded on his front door responding to an anonymous call to his home in the Tealside section of Lithia, Winter shot himself and died instantly. His death stunned co-workers; news anchor Stacie Schaible was near tears reporting his death, the lead story that evening. He had left the station following a newscast the night before cheerful and upbeat in mood. However, it was learned that he suffered from severe depression.