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Winston Wutkee
(1936-    )

Winston B. Wutkee was born in Los Angeles, California on October 10, 1936, the son of Nona Elnora Bennett and Albert William Wutkee, proprietor of a cleaning and pressing shop. He began collecting rocks at the tender age of 18 months and went on to collect minerals, stamps, coins, books and early photographs. His mother encouraged his interests by giving him naturally polished agates and jaspers she had collected from prairie blow-outs in Montana. He was also inspired toward mineralogy by a local mineral collector, Harold Budd, who showed him his collection of cabinet specimens of amethyst, fluorite, pyrite, etc. in the 1940s.

Winston purchased his first mineral collection—specimens glued to the bottom of a cardboard tray—from the Yellowstone National Park gift shop in 1948. In 1952 he obtained his driver's license and immediately began going on field trips with his friend, Harold Budd Jr., traveling into the Mojave Desert and the Sierra Nevada Mountains looking for minerals and rocks. In the 1950s and early 1960s he also paid regular visits to his aunt and uncle, Mildred and Stan Finegar, who introduced him to members of their mineral club and took him along on field trips. During the 1950s he purchased specimens from The Bradley's mineral shop in Leimert Park, going on to obtained more specimens from other well-known southern California dealers and collectors such as Dave Wilbur, the Bourget Brothers, George Burnham (Burminco), Willard Perkin, Jean Hamel, Juanita Curtiss, Marion Godshaw and others.

Winston married Barbara Carney in 196l and together they had one son, Jeff (born in 1973; passed away in 2002) and one daughter, Tanya (born in 1969).

Winston began his college career in Geology at Los Angeles City College (1954-1957); then transferred to UCLA where he received his Bachelor's Degree in 1961, followed by a Master's Degree in History (of California and the West, with minors in Geology, Anthropology and Spanish) from California State University in Los Angeles in 1968. He began his teaching career in 1970, at the age of 33, upon joining the faculty of the newly established College of the Canyons in Valencia, California. He taught Geology, Mineralogy and Geography there for 39 years until retiring in 2009.

Winston considers himself to be a eclecticist—that is, a person intensely interested in everything—and a born collector.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
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