Horry County school board member Ray Winters dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Board of Education Member Ray Winters died Monday night, according to Chairman Ken Richardson.

Winters was placed on a ventilator last week after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to previous reporting. Tom Rice (R-Myrtle Beach) hired Winters as a partner 13 years ago when he was straight out of law school. Winters started his own law firm in 2008. Rice posted on Facebook Tuesday memorializing Ray Winters.

“I’m saddened to hear Ray has lost his battle with COVID-19,” Rice posted. “He loved God, his family and his community. His genuine kindness made a difference and touched so many of us.”

Winters served as a school board member since 2014. Shanda Allen, Horry County Board of Education member representing District 11, said Winters had a passion for the children of Horry County and their education.

“There’s just some people in the world you can’t replace,” Allen said. “Our school system lost a true warrior for our schools. He was just an amazing person to know. I mean I feel blessed that I did get to know him.”

Allen said that whenever she had a question for Winters, he always answered with “both sides of the coin.”

“He just had a mind that was sharp,” Allen said. “As you know, he was a lawyer. He really brought that to the table to us. We really drew from his knowledge of things.”

Allen said Winters’ death shocked her and will miss him dearly.

“His smile,” Allen said. “His kind spirit. I’m going to miss that about him. His just calming way.”

Winters is the second school board member to die so far this year. Former Vice-Chairman John Poston died in January, after also testing positive for COVID-19.

Allen said another loss is difficult to process.

“[I’m] heartbroken that we lost yet another good one,” Allen said.

Winters is survived by his wife and daughter.

Richardson said Winters will be remembered, saying, “We are praying for his family. He will be missed.”

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