Family, Friends Reflect on the Loss of Winoker, 49 - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Family, Friends Reflect on the Loss of Winoker, 49

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Family and friends of real estate executive David Winoker gather to mourn his tragic death at the funeral.The tragic death of 49-year-old real estate executive David Winoker in a skydiving accident in Ulster County two weeks ago has stunned both his family – wife Jillian expressed her guilt over having talked her husband into making the jump – and his business associates, who remembered him as an honorable man who was enjoying great success in his field.

According to authorities, Winoker may have been somewhat responsible for the accident by accidentally knocking his instructor, Alexander Chulsky, unconscious. “When the chute was being deployed, the impact of Mr. Winoker’s head jerking backwards may have struck the instructor,” said Chief Joseph Ryan of the Plattekill, New York police department, which has been investigating the freak accident. The investigators were analyzing a bruise on the front of Chulsky’s neck to determine if it was caused by a jolt from Winoker’s helmet. Chulsky, a Brooklyn resident, lost consciousness before he could release the second of two parachute steering toggles, according to his supervisor.

Without the release of the second toggle, Winoker and Chulsky went into a rightward turning spiral that inevitably sent them to their deaths. “The parachute appeared to open normally,” said Joe Richards, president of Skydive the Ranch. “Then it turned to the right and continued to turn to the right until it hit the ground.” At that point, Winoker would not have had the capacity to reach the toggles to exert control over the plunge, Richards explained.

At her husband’s funeral, Jillian Winoker admitted that she had convinced him to participate in the Ulster County dive to help celebrate the 50th birthday of a friend. Mrs. Winoker insisted on joining the effort to try and rescue her husband. The seriously injured men were found lying on the ground near a tree in an apple orchard. “She was just crying,” Richards said. “She was there with David for a while, then she just walked away.” The United States Parachute Association is investigating the accident.

Winoker’s friends from the real estate world spoke highly of the fallen namesake of Winoker Realty, both professionally and personally. “I have to say he was at the prime of his life in the last twelve months,” related Shlomo Bakhash, president of the Kash Group, a real estate investment company. “That’s when he took a lot of new buildings, some prime buildings on Broadway.” Winoker had become the head of the leasing agency at the firm’s biggest building, 1450 Broadway, just one year ago.

Winoker Realty oversees management and leasing – along with sales of office condominiums – at twenty-two Manhattan office buildings, which totals approximately 2.5 million square feet of office space. Winoker’s holdings included 242 West 38th Street and 148 Madison Avenue.

Bakhash emphasized that the husband and father of three was a fine person to do business with. “David was an honorable man, and a man of very good character,” he said. Adam Rosen, who works in real estate sales, had a conversation with Winoker earlier this year about a lease Rosen had concluded at 152 Madison Avenue, which Winoker represents. “He was very down-to-earth,” Rosen said. “He had fair prices and I never had a problem. He never over-budgeted my client, and he was a skilled negotiator. The space came out great.”

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