'Winnie' Winston, folkie, homeopath

Posted: June 29, 2005

Julian "Winnie" Winston, 64, an industrial-design teacher at the University of the Arts, folk musician, author, and leading homeopath, died June 12 of prostate cancer at home in Wellington, New Zealand.

"Winnie Winston . . . was an important figure in the folk-music scene of the 1960s and 1970s. He played banjo and pedal steel guitar. . . . He recorded with Steve Goodman, David Bromberg, Rosalie Sorrels and David Grisman, and made records under his own name," radio host Terry Gross said Thursday on her show, Fresh Air.

Raised in Yonkers, N.Y., Mr. Winston was the son of art teachers. They encouraged his design talents and exposed him to museums and creative-arts camps, where he learned to play the guitar and banjo at 14.

After earning a bachelor's degree in design in 1963 from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Mr. Winston worked at several firms in New York as a product designer.

In 1967, he moved to Princeton, N.J., to work as a designer at Creative Playthings.

In 1969, Mr. Winston moved to West Philadelphia to teach design at Philadelphia College of Art, now the University of the Arts. He retired from teaching in 1995 and moved to New Zealand.

Throughout his Philadelphia years, Mr. Winston played folk music. He excelled at the pedal steel guitar, built his own, played in several country bands, and wrote two books about the instrument.

In 1971, Mr. Winston became fascinated by homeopathic medicine. Mr. Winston became active in the movement, edited the newsletter for the National Center for Homeopathy, and was dean of the center from 1988 to 1992.

Mr. Winston traveled to Wellington College of Homoeopathy in New Zealand, where he met the principal, Gwyneth Evans. They married in 1994.

In 1998, Mr. Winston was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He received homeopathic and traditional Western medical treatments for the disease.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Winston is survived by two brothers, Rick and Jon.

Services are private.

Memorial donations may be made to the Mary Potter Hospice, Box 7442, Wellington South, Wellington, New Zealand.

Contact staff writer Gayle Ronan Sims at 215-854-4185 or gsims@phillynews.com.

To ask a question of Sims, go to http://go.philly.com./obituary.

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