Widow’s tragic regret as she talked husband David Winoker into fatal skydive
Leader of Winoker Realty died in freak tandem parachute stunt
By Bill Hutchinson AND Jennifer H. Cunningham
Anguished widow Jillian Winoker and mourners leave services in Bedford Corners in Westchester County for David Winoker, who was killed in skydiving accident.
The heartbroken widow of prominent Manhattan real estate investor David Winoker told mourners Sunday that she talked him into the skydiving adventure that cost him his life.
“I can’t think of when he said ‘no.’ That was the problem. Maybe he should have said ‘no’ to me one more time,” Jillian Winoker told more than 400 grieving friends and relatives at the Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners in Westchester County.
Winoker, 49, who ran Winoker Realty, died Friday in a freak tandem parachute jump in Ulster County. The skydiving tragedy also killed Alexander Chulsky, 25, of Brooklyn.
The outing was organized to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday.
As their three children — Jared, 15; Hillary, 13; and Allison, 7 — sat near their father’s casket, Jillian Winoker described her husband as “cautious in everything.”
“He would not drive above the speed limit, even if I made us run very late,” she said. “He didn’t go out in the sun without applying six different layers of suntan lotion.”
“Can you imagine doing something that’s not in your nature to do?” Jillian Winoker said. “You got your 10, 15 seconds, which is generally how long these falls go anyway and all of a sudden, you realize, something’s not right?
“I wish we could turn back the clock,” she said.
Instead of celebrating Father’s Day with their dad, Winoker’s children eulogized him.
His daughter Allison showed mourners a magazine cover she made with her father’s picture on it and the words, “Dad of the Year.”
She was planning to give it to him as a Father’s Day present.
“He was supposed to win the Father of the Year award and I was supposed to treat him like a President,” said Alison, wearing her dad’s red tie.
Meanwhile, friends remembered Chulsky, an instructor for Skydive The Ranch in upstate Gardiner, as a passionate skydiver.
“All he did was talk about it. He tried to get me to do it. He said it was a great rush,” said friend William Gonzalez, 44. “He was a great guy.”