Monthly Archives: September 2017

Obituary

Winifred Wootton Booher, 70, passed from this life on September 24. Winkie, along with her twin brother Lucius III, was born in Jacksonville to Winifred Sessoms Wootton and Lucius Bayne Wootton, Jr. on June 5, 1947.

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She attended Riverside Presbyterian Day School, Bartram School for Girls, and Agnes Scott College. After obtaining a degree in psychology and playing countless hours of field hockey, she spent two years working in Atlanta before returning to Jacksonville.

She met David Booher on a blind date in 1972, and said she’d never laughed so much in her life. They were married six months later, on April 14, 1973. They had two children, Winifred (Windy) Booher Taylor and David Henry Booher IV.

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Winkie’s life was devoted to service. She was an active member of Riverside Presbyterian Church, where she taught the confirmation class, served as an Elder, gave her time to various committees, and sang in the choir.

She was involved in the Junior League of Jacksonville, most notably as the editor of the Jacksonville & Company cookbook in 1982. She participated in the Leadership Jacksonville class of 1985, and served as treasurer for the Women’s Board of Wolfson Children’s Hospital until 2015.

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While handling all these leadership and service roles, Winkie worked full time managing David’s law office, and continued to work after his death until she retired in 2013. She also played tennis at the Florida Yacht Club, where she was known as a fierce competitor. She traveled extensively, read voraciously, and cheered enthusiastically for the Gators and the Jaguars.

 Winkie leaves behind her two children, Windy Taylor (Jason) and David Booher, her grandchildren, Hollyn, Tyler, Jensen, and Hazel, and her brother Louie Wootton (Kari-June). She was preceded in death by her parents, Winkie and Lucius Wootton, her husband David Booher III, and her beloved greyhound Sugar.

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A memorial service will be held at Riverside Presbyterian Church on October 7 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Big Bend Hospice of Tallahassee, or Greyhounds as Pets of Northeast Florida.

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No One Is Coming to Save Us

Florida is a weird, weird place. I was born and raised here, and have spent 34 of the last 37 hurricane seasons here. I still have the capacity for astonishment about my home state – each year we seem to find new ways to delight and/or horrify.

Hurricanes are a weird, weird weather phenomenon. Every time I’ve experienced one, I think about how unexpected and awful they must have been for our pre-radar ancestors. The day before a hurricane is almost always beautiful. And then it begins to rain. And it just gets worse and worse and windier and windier. There’s no thunder, no lightning, just the noise of the wind as it screams around the house and through the trees.

It makes a strange sort of sense that hurricanes and Florida go hand-in-hand.

Yesterday was gorgeous. We sat on our porch in the cool evening and watched the kids play soccer in the front yard.

Around lunchtime today, the outer bands of Hurricane Irma began to make their way across the panhandle, even though the hurricane hadn’t made landfall yet. Florida is a huge state, but this is a huge storm. It will get worse and worse, and windier and windier, and then it will be over.

And we will pick up the pieces. We always do.

After Katrina, the city of New Orleans lost over 400,000 residents. By contrast, Miami-Dade County only lost a net of 36,000 residents in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew steamrolled it. We get knocked down again and again, but we just can’t quit our state. Whether this is foolish or fearless, I can’t say.

Floridians seem to share a grim fatalism about our situation. We gather our supplies, make darkly funny jokes with our neighbors, churn out meme after meme, and have hurricane parties. We know how this works.

We’re not morons. (Well, most of us.) We know that these storms are dangerous, and we prepare as best we can. But part of us knows that there’s only so much you can do.

You can’t actually be ready for anything.

Irma is taking a leisurely stroll up the west coast of Florida, so we won’t see the whites of her eye until tomorrow. In 24 hours, the worst should be over.

See you on the flip side.

 

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