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Otto Winhold, much loved husband of June, father of Karen and Kimberly, grandfather of Isabelle and father-in-law to Luc, passed away peacefully in his home in Fayston on Sunday, October 1, 2006.
He was born in Munich, Germany, on September 6, 1919, the son of a physician. In 1938, he joined the German military and served in the Air Force and the Navy as a pilot. In 1941, encouraged by his father, he entered medical school, qualifying in 1948 from the Universities of Munich and Tuebingen. Until 1953, he worked with his father in the family practice in Munich.
After his father died, he decided to spend some time in the United States, arriving alone on Ellis Island in New York City on July 1, 1953. With his medical degree, he was accepted into an internship program in New Jersey. From there he did a surgical residency in Illinois followed by a fellowship in anesthesia at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston. It was there on the surgical floor that he met his wife, June, a surgical nurse at the time.
He waited for her after she left the Deaconess to pursue an alternative career as a flight stewardess, eventually convincing her to give up this exciting life (which included a party with Elvis Presley) and marry him in 1959. It was only then that he knew he would not return to Germany. They moved to New Jersey in 1960 and enjoyed an active social life.
In 1965, their first daughter Karen was born and in 1968 they moved to Vermont, where his second daughter Kimberly was born. He worked as an anesthesiologist at the Heaton Hospital in Montpelier, the Barre City Hospital and Gifford Memorial Hospital in Randolph. In 1969, he moved to Central Vermont Hospital in Berlin. Although Otto "retired" in 1985, he continued to practice anesthesia, commuting for eight years between his home in Northfield in the "Little Red Farmhouse" and Beebe Hospital in Delaware.
Otto's medical career was a big part of his life. He was one of the most beloved doctors of both the staff and patients at the hospitals, but he also had many interests outside work. He was an expert skier and tennis player, once holding the record for the most ski runs in one day at the Mad River Glen ski area. He spent many happy hours teaching his daughters these sports.
Otto's other talents included making wine and beer, carpentry and taking care of the family property. These practical skills were put to full use when his daughter Karen bought the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm in 1993 and when the business moved to the new location in Fayston, where Otto and June designed and built their new house located over the barn and overlooking the forests of Vermont. Unfairly, only 10 months after moving into their new house, Otto had a stroke from which he only partially recovered. Since then, June has been his devoted caretaker.
No life is without tragedy. In September 2005, Kimberly died unexpectedly at the farm. Otto's and Kimberly's absence leaves the rest of the family lost and alone.
A celebration of Otto's life will be held later this fall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the family at P.O. Box 577, Waitsfield, VT 05673. All donations will go towards the scholarship set up in Kimberly's name at the Northfield (Vermont) High School. For those wishing to extend on-line condolences, please visit barber-lanier.com.