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Dr. William Lewis Winters Jr.

1926 - 2020
Dr.  William Lewis Winters Jr. Obituary
Dr. William Lewis Winters, Jr.
Dr. William Lewis Winters, Jr., "Grandoc" passed away peacefully, as a result of complications from a head injury, at Memorial Hermann Hospital on Friday evening, the 13th of March 2020, surrounded by loved ones. He dearly loved and cherished his family and wife of 66 years, Barbara Anne Razner Winters. He was a beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was a native of Highland Park, Illinois, but died a true Texan. He was born the 14th of January 1926, at St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Marion Norton, died in 1927 of complications from a blood transfusion. His father remarried in 1931 to Margaret Parkin.
In February 1944, he received his draft notice to be inducted into the military service in June, upon graduating from high school. He served two years as a Navy medic in the South Pacific as a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve from July 1944 – August 1946. He then entered Princeton University where he was a member of Tiger Inn. Three years later he was accepted into Northwestern University Medical School. He graduated Northwestern in 1953 with Medical School Honors of Alpha Omega Alpha and Pi Kappa Epsilon. On the 30th of May 1953 he and Barbara married and they moved to Philadelphia, where he began a one-year internship at Philadelphia General Hospital, followed by three years of medical residency at Temple University Hospital. Upon completion of his residency, he earned a Master's Degree in Science from Temple University. He stayed one more year as the first Cardiology Fellow in the newly constituted cardiology training program from 1957 – 1958. He then accepted a position on the Temple University Medical School Faculty in the Department of Medicine, where over the next ten years he served variously as: Director of a National Institute of Health Cardiovascular Research Program, a General Medicine Research Program; Director of the Coronary Care Unit; and Interim Chairman of the Pulmonary Department. He and a surgical colleague ran the heart-lung machine successfully for the very first open-heart operation performed at the hospital in 1958.
In 1968, he accepted an invitation to move to Houston to join Dr. Don W. Chapman in the practice of cardiology at Houston Methodist Hospital (HMH) and as a member of the clinical faculty of the Baylor College of Medicine. The subsequent 50 years were filled with extraordinary memories of patients, colleagues, achievements, and local & national awards. He served in leadership roles at the American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Physicians (ACP), and many local organizations. Along the way, he became President of the ACC; President of the Texas Chapter of the AHA; President of the Houston Methodist Hospital medical staff; and President of the Houston Doctors Club. He was named a Master of the ACC and ACP. A Houston medical icon and legend, he received from Methodist Hospital the John W. Overstreet Award, the highest award bestowed by the HMH medical staff; the George Noon Award; and a lifetime achievement award. He was honored as the recipient of two chairs established in cardiovascular medicine of HMH by the Dan Arnold Family and a host of other contributors. In 2017, a chair in Cardiovascular Education was established by Dr. & Mrs. Winters honoring their three sons: Christopher, William, and Scott Winters.
His career covered the scope of modern cardiovascular medicine. He often reflected that he has observed or participated in every new facet of the specialty in the 60 years of his professional career. He authored numerous articles published in medical journals and was the Founding Editor of the Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal in 2005. He authored multiple books, including Houston Hearts, a history of cardiovascular surgery and medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital.
In his leisure time, he enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, bird hunting, and fly-fishing with his sons, grandsons, friends, and colleagues. These trips took them all around the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, Mexico, Canada, and New Zealand. He and his wife, Barbara, enjoyed traveling worldwide with friends and colleagues. He was true to his four "Rules of the Road" to life, and shared those rules with his children and grandchildren. Those rules were 1) attitude is everything, 2) be the best you can be, 3) remain a lifelong learner, and 4) live your faith every day. Grandoc took on his role as a grandfather gladly and cheerfully as a time to share his faith in Jesus; teaching them that the most important "Rule of the Road" was to live your faith.
He is survived by his cherished wife of 66 years, Barbara; and three sons, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They are his son, Christopher and his wife Marilyn, and their sons Christopher and Andrew; his son, William and his wife Mary, and their children Gracey and her husband Christopher M. Howey; and their son Hudson Robert Howey, William L. Winters, III, and Mary Kerr Winters; and his son, Scott and his partner Alex Morua. He is also survived by his half-sister, Mary Schlendorf and her husband Neal, and their daughter Thea; and his half-brother, Rex Winters. He was predeceased by his father, William L. Winters, Sr; mother, Marion Norton Winters; step-mother, Margaret Parkin Winters.
The family will gather for a private interment at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.
A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life will be held at a date to be announced.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests that memorial contributions in his name be directed to the Winters Family Distinguished Centennial Chair in Cardiovascular Education in Honor of Christopher, William and Scott Winters, c/o Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 4384 Houston, TX 77210-4384; or to First Presbyterian Church of Houston 5300 Main Street, Houston, TX 77004.
He believed in Jesus Christ as his Savior and lived his life in service to others with compassion.
Please visit Mr. Winters' online memorial tribute at GeoHLewis.com where memories and words of comfort and condolence may be shared electronically with his family.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Mar. 18, 2020
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