- Associated Press - Sunday, November 20, 2016

MARIETTA, Okla. (AP) - In the classroom, on the field and as a parent, Michael Winchester succeeded and understood that success came from hard work.

“He was self-made” Bill Johnson, Marietta High School teacher and former coach, said of Winchester. “He worked for things and he knew he had to work hard to get what he wanted.”

The Daily Ardmoreite (https://bit.ly/2f4cEd1 ) reports Johnson, who taught and coached Winchester, as well as many of his family members, at Marietta said Winchester was a standout in high school, both because of his personality and his work ethic.

“He was a hard worker and never complained,” he said. “He was a perfect student and a perfect person. His whole family is that way.”

Winchester, who grew up in Marietta and graduated from its high school, was the victim of a shooting at Will Rogers World Airport on Tuesday in Oklahoma City. He was 52.

Johnson said the news came as a shock.

“It’s hard to wrap it around my head,” Johnson said. “Because of the person he is and was.”

Johnson said Winchester was the kind of person that “wanted to help anyone he could” and “never said an unkind word to anyone.” Johnson said he has very fond memories of teaching and coaching Winchester. He said Winchester was awarded the Citizenship Award his senior year at Marietta, an award that is voted on by the entire high school staff.

Johnson said Winchester walked onto the football team at the University of Oklahoma where he was a member of the 1985 National Championship team.

Johnson said the fact that he walked onto the team is a perfect testament to the kind of person he was; a person that worked for his success.

“He did things because he wanted,” he said. “He didn’t want the stardom or to impress people. He did it because he wanted to.”

But with all of his success, Johnson said Winchester always remained the same kind, hardworking person who stepped into his classroom and onto the field in Marietta.

“You would’ve never known he walked onto OU or that he has a National Championship ring,” he said of his humility. “He was a pleasure to be around. He was the best.”

Johnson said Winchester’s family is highly respected in Marietta and all of his family bared the same traits that Michael did.

“He was a great athlete, a great person and a great dad,” Johnson said. “He was a great father to his kids.

“His life was his kids.”

Johnson said Marietta will mourn his passing and that he will always be remembered as the caring, hardworking athlete that Winchester was.

“I just send my thoughts and prayers to the family,” Johnson said.

___

Information from: The Daily Ardmoreite, https://www.ardmoreite.com

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