J. Travis Winkleman passed away Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
Travis Joseph was born on April 14, 1934 to William and Lillan Gordon Winkleman in Atoka, Oklahoma. “Jay Travis” wore many hats during his life and although he out lived many loves and never had any offspring, he had a very “full” filled life. When he was a child he lived down the road from a little Baptist Church. Every Sunday he could hear the music playing and he would run down to the church to listen. When services were over the pastor would let him go into the building and play on the piano and Jay’s love for music began. The pastor even gave him a guitar and that gift was the key that opened the door to a passion that drove him.
He achieved great success and had many opportunities for fame throughout his life. In business he was W. Clement Stone’s personal liaison. For his leadership and innovative sales prowess, he was awarded The President’s Ring by Mr. Stone, an award very few people received.
As a musician he experienced many intersections with fame. He auditioned and almost became a member of Patsy Cline’s band. He was hired by Jim Reeves and was to start his career with him at the Steamboat in Las Vegas the week after Jim was killed in the fateful plane crash. He performed after Roy Clark at a big music festival and was considered as a candidate for the “Hee-Haw” country music show. When playing at a casino he met the producer for the television series, “Bonanza” and was considered for a guitar-playing extra in the show.
In his words, his greatest choice that paid the most dividends was his decision to make Jesus the Lord of his life. One of his favorite ways to say farewell to the crowds when he performed was with the lyrics to the great song, “May the Good Lord bless and keep you, until we meet again.”
Survivors include his heartmate, Mrs. Kay Newton; brother, Robert Winkleman; and long-time friend, Rebekah Cline. Jay was also survived by numerous relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, William Mark Winkleman and his mother, Lillan Winkleman.
In lieu of memorials, Jay simply asks that you share love with your fellow man.