John Edward Winstead

John Edward Winstead

January 29, 2022, 73, Goldsboro –

John Edward Winstead, 73, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, January 29, 2022.

John was born in Fulton County, Kentucky on November 28, 1948. He was son to the late Robert Edward Winstead and Wandaline Dickerson Winstead.

The family moved to Dresden, Tennessee where John was raised on the family farm. He enjoyed his personal time relaxing on the banks of the Obion River, fishing and swimming with friends. John also enjoyed his time in his youth with his uncle Bernice, and told many stories of him to his family and friends throughout his life.

John enlisted with the United States Marine Corps at an early age serving in the Marine Corps Aviation Department. Throughout his time in service, he advanced in rank to Gunnery Sergeant and was later selected to serve the warrant ranks through CW04. John served 28 years with honor and dignity, retiring as a decorated Vietnam Veteran. Later years would find John serving Wayne County as a Major with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. He retired with 20 years of honorable service.

He had 30 bird houses and feeders on his home acreage and tended to provide food for all his animals, wild and tame.

John was a philanthropist of sorts with many unsuspecting deeds to his credit. He certainly enjoyed his role as Santa Claus and putting smiles on the faces of children and adults alike.

John is survived by his wife, Donna Sanderock Winstead; his children, Fred Earl Gardner III and wife, Andrea Von Holtum Gardner, Margeaux Gardner Graham and husband, Jason Scott Graham, Blair Gardner and wife, Erica Gardner.

John was a loving and proud PaPa to his grandchildren, Everette Scott Graham with whom he shared a birthday for 14 years, Miles Gardner, Hannah Carolyn Holland and husband, Bobby Holland, and baby, Kendra Fae Gardner. Not to forget John’s beloved K9 companion, Charlie.

A graveside service with military honors will be held on Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at Wayne Memorial Park in Dudley. Pastor Pete Williams will be officiating the service. The family will receive friends following the service at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, and the Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition would be appreciated.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Seymour Funeral Home in Goldsboro. Online condolences may be sent to the family at