Damani LaRon Winters, age 21, of Jefferson City, Mo., passed away Tuesday, September 3, 2019, due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
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Damani was born on May 2, 1998, in Jefferson City, Mo., to his loving parents, Christopher and Verhonda (Hill) Winters.
A lifelong resident of the central Missouri area, Damani was a 2016 graduate of Jefferson City High School. He had also attended classes at Lincoln University. Damani grew up playing baseball, basketball, football, soccer, enjoyed video games, and was on the Jefferson City High School Bowling Team.
After high school Damani honed his natural interpersonal skills while working at One Call Concepts and Jack in the Box.
Most would describe Damani as a charismatic, creative soul with a beautifully contagious smile. He had what seemed an innate ability to bring people together, and he saw the importance in human interaction. Damani remained true to the lost art of making simple and personal human connections. He was a throwback to times when physically being there for another, mattered the most. His was a beautiful light that glowed brightly, drawing people towards him.
Damani was an excellent listener, getting to the core and the essence of things. When engaged in conversations, he could help you to feel safe, with the sincerity of his heart and words. This is perhaps what drew people to him and in many instances, helped him forge lasting relationships with so many people. He loved his family, and the people he would come to value as friends. Ask any of these folks and they will tell you just how good a friend he was.
No accounting of Damani's life would be complete without mentioning his self-expression. Musical inclinations and artistic words helped to give voice to his inner thoughts. A fashion-forward style was his signature. Damani took fashion cues from no one, he doled them out, being intentional about his aesthetic. He was beautiful outside and in.
Damani appreciated the virtue of living his life in the moment. He did not take any aspect of it for granted and was comfortable to live that life not being afraid, overcoming self-doubts and parental worries, to embody the adage from President Lincoln that, “in the end … it is not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years.”
He is lovingly survived by: his parents, Christopher and Verhonda Winters of Jefferson City, Mo.; one brother, Maalik Winters of Jefferson City, Mo.; one sister, Saneya Winters of Jefferson City, Mo.; his paternal grandfather, Pickens Winters (Marilyn) of Karnak, Tx.; his paternal grandmother, Lois Winters of Atlanta, Ga.; and several aunts, uncles, cousins and many dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Sherman Buckner and Helen Hill.
Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 8, 2019.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Monday, September 9, 2019, in the Freeman Chapel with celebrant Gara Loskill officiating. Graveside services and interment will be held at Hawthorn Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Damani Winters Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 95, Jefferson City, Mo. 65102. Friends and family may send memorials online by going to www.gofundme.com/f/paying-tribute-to-damani-winter039s.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Freeman Mortuary.