Bertram M. Winer, 94, died peacefully in Wayland, MA on December 3, 2016. Born in Boston on March 20, 1922, he was a graduate of Boston Latin Class of 1940, Yale Class of 1943, and NY Medical College Class of 1946. He then served as a Captain in the Army Medical Corps in Panama until 1950, when he began his medical research and his clinical practice in the Boston area.
Fifth son of Samuel Winer and Dora Jacobs, Bert followed Manuel (1910), Herbert (1912), Morton (1914) and Myron (1914). Bert married Miriam (Mimi) Feldman in 1953, fathered Jonathan in 1954, Josh in 1956, and Matthew in 1958. He was grandfather to Lauren, Nathaniel, Molly, Charles and Luke and was uncle to Robert, Joan, Jeanne, David, Michael, Jane, Mark, Fred, and Barbara Winer and to Joanne Segal, David Feldman, Richard Stellar, Amy Robinson, Carol Blumenthal, Nancy Taxin, Michael Feldman, and Judy Feldman. He became great- and great-great uncle to nearly 100 other family members.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Bert undertook pioneering medical research on the angiotensin and renin systems which had clinical applications in the quest to treat and control hypertension, publishing original work in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Circulation, the American Heart Journal, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and Angiology, among other medical journals. He was an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard University and a Member of the Department of Medicine and the Yamins Research Laboratory at the Beth Israel Hospital. For many years, he also practiced internal medicine from offices at 1180 Beacon Street in Brookline, until his retirement in 1989.
In addition to his active life as a clinical physician, teacher of medicine, and medical researcher, Bert was a life-long avid sailor, fisherman, golfer, birdwatcher, tennis player, chess player, and duplicate bridge player. Like his own father and his brothers, he loved symphonic music. He was also an opera buff who regularly convened opera parties for his friends. While in college, he taught himself piano to play the first movement from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, and Liszt’s Liebestraum. In childhood, he learned how to tap dance and was able to demonstrate how to perform the buck and the wing at aged 80. During his Panama years in the Army, he kept a sailboat and a dog, both of which appeared in the local newspaper, crossing the Panama Canal. He learned how to scuba dive in his late 40’s, took Mimi and his sons, their cousins, and their girlfriends sailing and diving throughout the Caribbean. He revived his brother Morton’s heart after it stopped on a Hawaiian golf-course when they were vacationing together, and got Mort safely back to Massachusetts where he had a full recovery. He almost never lost a game of chess, and never to a member of the family.
After retiring, Bert became an active essayist on political, economic and scientific topics, producing more than three dozen essays over a quarter century which he shared with his men’s group in Brookline.
Bert maintained extraordinary enthusiasm about everything he and his family did over the course of his 94 plus years. He took tremendous pride in Mimi’s picture-books for children, in her work to create a self-help organization for people dealing with sight loss, in his children’s writing, art, and music projects and other achievements, and experienced great pleasure in the company of his grand-children, great-nieces and great nephews.
His last words were “I’m perfect.”
Bert was interred in Wayland North Cemetery on Old Sudbury Road in a private ceremony.
Donations in lieu of gifts may be made to Dartmouth Medical School’s “The Matthew S. Winer Award for Humanism and Excellence in Community Psychiatry” through contacting his sons Jonathan or Josh.