In Memoriam: Clifford L. Winget


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has received word of the death May 24, 2006 of retiree Clifford L. Winget of Sandwich, MA. He was 83.

Clifford L. Winget was born July 28, 1922 in Lyndhurst, NJ, and graduated from Lyndhurst High School in 1940.  He worked as a machinist at Dumont Labs from 1940 to 1942 before serving in the U.S. Air Force as a test pilot and engineering staff advisor until 1945. He returned to Dumont Labs in January 1946 as supervisor of the research and development shop, leaving in April 1947 to work as a self-employed mechanical engineer until 1951. During his military service he took engineering and mechanical courses at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, returning to the Air Force as an electronic instructor and engineering officer from 1951 to 1954.

Cliff left the Air Force in 1954 to work as a field service engineer and project test engineer for Walter Kidde & Co in Belleville, NJ.  He left the firm briefly in 1959 to work in standards engineering and quality control at the Kearfott Division of General Precision in Little Falls, NJ, returning to Walter Kidde & Co. in contracts engineering in 1960. He was promoted to project engineer in 1961 and to manager of prototype production in 1964.

Cliff joined the WHOI staff in December 1966 as a research associate in the Applied Oceanography Department working with Bill Rainnie, Jr. on the design of electro-mechanical systems for the submersible Alvin and other instrumentation. During his career he designed many sampling instruments for a range of scientific studies, among them some unusual items like SeaDuct, a deep sea in situ flume intended to gather data and samples from seafloor sediments and the water just above them for the High-Energy Benthic Boundary Layer Experiment (HEBBLE) led by Charley Hollister.  Because of its large size and weight, SeaDuct could only be launched from Knorr, and the doors of the Coastal Research Laboratory had to be removed to get it out when it was completed. Cliff, known as an innovative and resourceful engineer, managed the construction. Spin-offs from SeaDuct led to advances in flume studies of fluid-flow dynamics.  Cliff was promoted to research specialist in 1970, and retired from the Institution in 1987. He continued to contribute his expertise after his retirement, returning to WHOI on a casual basis to work with Sandy Williams in Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering until 1995.

He loved animals, and usually had a dog with him. Many at WHOI will remember "Boomer", and he was devoted to his most recent companion, "Mandy Lou".

Cliff volunteered for many years at the Sandwich Food Pantry, and was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Survivors include two sons, Clifford L. "Mike" Winget II of Huntington Beach, CA and Steven E. Winget of Monument Beach, MA; and a daughter, Katherine E. Winget of San Antonio, TX. 

A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 5 p.m. at Clark Laboratory, 5th floor, on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Quissett Campus.  Memorial donations may be made to the Sandwich Food Pantry, 331 Cotuit Road, Sandwich, MA 02563.


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Cliff Winget displays a piece of the sandwich left aboard Alvin, recovered with the sub in 1970 after 11 months on the seafloor. (?Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)