Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bob Windsor Dies

Here is Bob's Obituary:

J. Robert Windsor
Broadcast Journalist

One of the early faces of ABC News and a broadcasting pioneer on Martha's Vineyard has died. J. Robert Windsor died January 25th at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 73 years old. Windsor died after a long battle with lung cancer.

He was born in New York City on November 5th, 1936. He was the son of John Dryden Windsor, an attorney, and Helen Johnson Windsor, a gifted pianist and an instructor at The Juilliard School. Bob attended The Collegiate School in New York City, Johns Hopkins University and the International Language Program at Yale University, where he became fluent in Mandarin. He married Marianne Evkovich on April 4, 1964 in Ashtabula, Ohio at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Bob, also known as J.R., began his distinguished broadcasting career in the military when he served as a radio man and Chinese linguist in the United States Air Force. He was based in Taiwan from 1957 to 1960 where his assignment was to eaves drop on Chinese communications during the Cold War. On return, he was stationed in Selma, Alabama where he first covered the Civil Rights Movement. Bob ended his tour of duty in Washington, D.C. in 1963 and got a job with a small local FM station - WASH, in Wheaton, MD that played mostly country music.

In the 1960's he worked as a radio and television news correspondent for WTOP in Washington D.C. He then joined ABC Television Network News and later became one of the voices of ABC Radio Network Information News, a division that covered national and international stories. From Washington, Windsor extensively covered the social movements and the unrest of that decade reporting on the Vietnam protests and the marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King. His interviews at the time included pivotal political figures including Congressman Adam Clayton Powell (NY), Senator Everett Dirksen (IL) , and Senator Robert Byrd (WV).

In 1970, Bob moved to Edgartown, Massachusetts where he built and licensed the first FM radio station on Martha's Vineyard, WVOI. The call letters stood for the Voice of the Islands. Not everyone was in favor of a radio station on the island but Bob convinced them otherwise. He got friends to record station breaks, his wife read commercials, and his children gave the nightly sign-off before the bagpipes played. Windsor became a big supporter of the local high school sports teams. He followed them on the road and broadcast the games live. Bob was a one man team. He was the station's programmer, manager, marketing and sales director, and on air personality when needed. He interviewed local celebrities like James Taylor and Carly Simons. Today the station is called WMVY.

On Martha's Vineyard Bob pursued his life-long love of sailing. He performed with local drama groups in a variety of productions and he served on the vestry of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

Mr. Windsor moved to Madison, New Jersey and returned to work at the Manhattan studios of ABC Radio in the late 1970s. He later became an award-winning producer of documentaries focusing on medicine and disease. Bob was recognized many times by the American College of Medicine for his work on topics including brachytherapy, prostate cancer, diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease.

In the 1990s, Mr. Windsor returned to Washington DC. in his retirement he enjoyed partnering with his wife, Marianne, in residential real estate sales. He joined the Capital Hill Chorale and performed with the group for more than 10 years along with serving on its board of directors. Throughout his life Bob continued supporting his alma mater serving as the head of fund raising for The Collegiate School Class of 1954.. Bob spent much of his time travelling with his wife, visiting with his grandchildren , and recording the memories all along as the official family videographer.

J.R. Windsor is survived by his wife of 46 yrs, Marianne Windsor of Washington DC; his son and daughter in-law Mark and Katy Windsor, of Pasadena CA; his daughter and son in-law, Robin and Tony Petrossian, of Bellevue WA; and four grandchildren. A service will be held in his memory this spring on Martha's Vineyard.

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