University of Central Oklahoma alumnus Jason Winters and his wife Nicole established the Joe D. Weatherford Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Funeral Service in the College of Mathematics and Science to honor his own mentor, Joe Weatherford, who passed away in January.

Winters, a graduate of the UCO Funeral Service program, began working for Weatherford when he was 14, washing the cars at Weatherford’s funeral home. Winters admired his passion for helping families in their time of need and dedication to students seeking to follow in his own footsteps in the funeral service profession.

“Joe dedicated 60 years of his life to the funeral service profession and was always striving to learn new things and offer more services to families. This gift helps him continue this mission long past his own passing,” Winters said.

“He realized the importance of funeral service programs and what a solid education could do in helping a student succeed later in life as a funeral director.”

Winters is a funeral director and co-owner of McClendon-Winters Funeral Homes in Okmulgee County and the Brown-Winters Funeral Homes in Ottawa County.

The Joe D. Weatherford Memorial Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a full-time senior or junior undergraduate student majoring in funeral service, with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

For more information, contact Mark McElreath, development manager for the College of Mathematics and Science at or 405-974-3781.