Louis G. Wingate, 80, engineer, sailor, Navy veteran

July 12, 2006

Louis Gilliland Wingate, a retired General Electric engineer, Navy commander and sailing enthusiast, died of cancer Thursday at his Ruxton home. He was 80.

A New Orleans native, Mr. Wingate enlisted in the Navy and served during World War II aboard the USS Macomb in the Atlantic before earning his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Tulane University in 1949.

Mr. Wingate joined General Electric Co.'s engineering training program and held engineering and sales management positions for 37 years in Philadelphia, Erie, Pa., and Baltimore, where he moved in 1973 and retired 13 years later.

In 1961, Mr. Wingate was recalled to serve as executive officer aboard the USS Darby in the Caribbean. From October 1962 to July 1965, he had command of the USS Snowden and attained the rank of commander.

Mr. Wingate was a celestial navigator and a member of the Potapskut Sailing Association in Pasadena. He had taught himself to sail on Lake Pontchartrain and once joked that he learned to sail because the fuel was so costly.

Over the years, he owned three sailboats - Evening Star, Courageous and Blue Water - and ventured as far south as Venezuela. In the summer, he traveled the Chesapeake and as far north as Maine.

An amateur winemaker, he bottled under the Pine Caves label and maintained a wine cellar in his basement.

A funeral Mass was offered yesterday at the Roman Catholic Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington, where he was a communicant.

Survivors include his wife of 20 years, the former Carolyn Harrington; two sons, Michael Lathrop Wingate of Lutherville and John Overton Wingate of Ventura, Calif.; a daughter, Meredith Moore Wingate of San Francisco; a sister, Emme Hawn of Erie; a stepson, Mark Talucci of Ruxton; three stepdaughters, Carey Talucci of Towson, Kathleen Talucci of Perry Hall and Eileen Talucci Alban of Baltimore; a granddaughter; and 11 step-grandchildren.

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