Love for Heavy Hearts

RECEIVED Wed., April 6, 2016

Dear Editor,
    We wish to offer an open letter of gratitude to the music community of Austin.
    A little more than a week ago, our son John Winsor tragically took his life, leaving his family and friends devastated and in shock. We, his parents, sister, and uncles traveled to Austin last Wednesday with the heaviest of hearts, dreading the ordeal before us. However, from the moment we arrived in Austin, we were immediately taken into the warm embrace of a caring, supportive community of people who play in and support the music industry of Austin. People took time from busy lives to meet with us, to eat with us, to grieve with us. In an impossibly short period of time, they organized a truly beautiful and uplifting memorial celebration of John’s life and talents. The packed attendance, the more than 30 speakers, and the performing musicians were a wonderful affirmation and recognition of this highly creative, multitalented musician, producer, and sound engineer. Just as important to us were the descriptions of his friendships and support of fellow musicians, his true love of music, his intelligence and wit, and his ability to fix almost anything from instruments and amps to cars and washing machines.
    He was obviously much loved and appreciated by his Austin music family and will be sorely missed. We are especially grateful to his bands, Sounds del Mar and Carry Illinois, as well as the Mohawk staff for their generosity of time, venue, materials, and outpouring of love; they are grieving as much as we are but have provided us much-needed comfort and help. They have additionally started a fund in John’s memory at www.gofundme/johnwinsorfund with donations going toward depression awareness and suicide prevention through the SIMS Foundation, which provides low-cost mental health services to Austin’s music community.
    Austin, John loved you; thank you for loving him!
Anne and Mark Winsor, Mary Etheridge Winsor
Atlanta, Georgia
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