Elise Varner Winter Bio, Wiki
Elise Varner Winter is best known for being the wife of Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter, a Democrat who pushed to strengthen public education and improve race relations. It is being reported that he died on December 18, 2020, at the age of 97.
Varner Winter played a pivotal role in education reform and worked relentlessly on all of her husband’s campaigns. She also successfully led Habitat for Humanity efforts in Mississippi, resulting in the construction of hundreds of homes for the working poor.
During his years as governor, Winter and his wife, Elise, hosted social gatherings for people prominent in politics and the arts, including authors Eudora Welty and Willie Morris and opera soprano Leontyne Price.
Gov. William Winter Background
Winter while working as a Governor was best known for pushing Mississippi lawmakers to enact the Education Reform Act of 1982, which set rules for compulsory school attendance, established free public kindergartens, and set quality standards for schools and teachers in a state that had long struggled with the intertwined problems of poverty, racial strife, and poor academic performance.
He served in the 1990s as co-chairman of a national commission on racial reconciliation created by President Bill Clinton, whose time as governor of Arkansas overlapped with Winter’s time as governor of Mississippi.
Winter is survived by his wife of 70 years, Elise Varner Winter; their daughters Anne Winter, Lele Gillespie, and Eleanor Winter; and five grandchildren.
Gov. William Winter Death & Cause
Winter died on Friday night, December 18th at home in Jackson, family spokesman Dick Molpus said Saturday. Molpus is a former Mississippi secretary of state who had worked on Winter’s gubernatorial staff.
Reflecting on Winter’s legacy Molpus said, “Winter confronted racial, economic, and educational inequities throughout his life and fought those inequities with courage, hope, and tenacity.”
Saddened to hear @ loss of MS Gov. William Winter, a true advocate for public education, equality, & reckoning w/ the past to shape a better future; I remain personally grateful for his participation in the commemoration of Clinton Massacre of 1875 in 2015 pic.twitter.com/NhsytOInXc
— Prof. Melissa Janczewski Jones (@MissyJanczewski) December 19, 2020