Richard L. Winslow ’63 died on March 17, 2021, in Dallas, Texas.
(The following was provided by the Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home on March 17, 2021)
Richard L. Winslow, MD, died on March 17, 2021. He was born in Caribou, Maine, on February 12, 1941, to Russell and Marjorie Winslow.
Rich had an exuberance for life and many talents. He played the trumpet in a high school dance band and later played the piano by ear and sight. He had a beautiful tenor voice. He loved to ski and play tennis, ping pong, and golf. Whatever he did, he did with enthusiasm and strived to be the best he could be. After a ski run or a game of golf or whatever, he would smile and say, “Wasn’t that fun?!”
Rich’s striving to be the best started young…he earned the Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts when he was twelve years old. He graduated from Caribou High School in 1959 as valedictorian and president of the class. He attended Bowdoin College where he was named a James Bowdoin Scholar for three years and received his BA with a major in Chemistry in 1963. While there, he led his fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi, to two victories in the highly competitive Interfraternity Sing competition. He then attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City. There he met Elizabeth (Wissa) Hahn on the tennis court and they were married in 1967, upon his graduation from Columbia.
When Rich completed his internship on the Columbia Division of Bellevue Hospital, he and Wissa moved to Tuba City, Arizona, where they both served in the Public Health Service, Indian Health Division from 1968-70. Rich rose to the rank of lieutenant commander and was the chief of service at the hospital his second year. He then returned to Philadelphia for a residency in ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania, training with the world-renowned Harold G Scheie, MD, from 1970-73. He was selected to be the co-chief resident his final year. He attended Wills Eye Hospital as a Retina Fellow 1974-75 where he served under William Annesley, MD, and William Tasman, MD.
Following completion of his retina fellowship, Wissa and Rich moved to Dallas, Texas, where Rich joined Bruce C. Taylor, MD, in the private practice of retina. Bruce and Rich won first place in the scientific exhibit at the American Academy of Ophthalmology held in Chicago in 1980 and won the Texas Medical Association Scientific Exhibit in 1981, with their exhibit on “Spontaneous Vitreous Hemorrhage”. He was president of the Dallas Academy of Ophthalmology in 1989. He received the American Academy of Ophthalmology Honor Award in 1991. He was awarded a plaque from the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology in 1992 for his services to that organization. He served in Guatemala with Project Orbis as a vitreoretinal surgeon in 1994. He rose to the rank of clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1994.
He retired from private practice in June, 2006. However, by September, 2006, his daughter, Heather (who also is an ophthalmologist), recruited him out of retirement to teach part time at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She told him he knew too much to be sitting by the pool or playing golf all the time. Rich loved teaching the ophthalmology residents and retina fellows so much that he continued teaching until 2019. During that time he helped train over one hundred residents and fellows.
Rich and Wissa hosted the “Winslow Olympics” in their backyard for over ten years. Ophthalmology residents, fellows, faculty, staff, and family members attended and competed in numerous events including basketball and football throws, pushups (marine style, of course), yoga poses, line dancing, ping pong, tennis, volleyball, and hula hooping. Rich competed in all the events, of course! The winners had bragging rights for a year.
In 2017, Rich and Wissa established the Winslow Family Retina Lectureship, which is a funded lectureship given annually at the Crossroads Ophthalmology Conference in Dallas. More recently, they established the Elizabeth and Richard Winslow Professorship in Retinal Research at UTSW Medical Center.
Other accomplishments of which Rich was proud are numerous club tennis titles in men’s singles, men’s doubles, and in mixed doubles with Wissa; three holes-in-one and winning the Bud Survant Trophy in 2016 for having the lowest three gross scores for anyone over 75 in the Saint John Valley Senior Golf Association held in northern Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, each summer; a gold medal in NASTAR for skiing and completing two Olympic-length Triathlons. Above all, he was most proud of his family and their multiple accomplishments.
He is survived by his wife, Wissa; his son, Frank and Frank’s wife, Jennifer Winslow, and their three children Austin, Ben, and Smith who live in Virginia; his daughter, Heather Winslow, MD, her husband, Vance Miller, and their four children, Mason, Presley, Hogan, and Kaden Miller who live in Dallas; his brother, Dalton Winslow, and Dalton’s wife, Leslie MacGregor, who live in New Hampshire, and their two sons, Allen and Owen.
Rich and I were Caribou High School and Bowdoin College classmates. We competed for grades in high school which made us both better. I always look forward to both reunions to see Rich and I can not express my sadness in not having those times again. Kip and I send our deepest condolences to Wissa and the family.
I did not know Rich well at school, but we spent time together during our 50th reunion. We shared our interest in tennis and golf with plans to get together in Florida. He was a delightful guy full of life and interest in my life. I had no idea until reading his obituary of what an extraordinary career he had.