Comedian, Jonathan Winters, who died on April 11th, 2013 was born in Dayton, Ohio on November 11, 1925. He went to school in Springfield, and at the age of 17, joined the Marine Corps. He served two-and-a-half years in the South Pacific, came back to Ohio and went Kenyon College in central Ohio.
The comedian also had an interest in art, and that led him to the Dayton Art Institute where he studied for over two years. It’s there that he first met his wife of more than 60 years. Eileen Schauder Winters, died in 2009, following a long battle with breast cancer.
Writer and director Murray Horowitz says that Winters missed his wife dearly.
Horowitz is also a Dayton Native. He was in town last week and we had the chance to talk about his friend Jonathan. Horowitz met Winters over the telephone in the early seventies, they later became good friends, but for Horowitz, the relationship began much earlier.
*Note - One of the highlights in this episode is audio from a 1981 appearance from Horowitz and Winters at the Kenyan Theater Festival. Their improvisational piece was inspired by the air traffic controller's strike taking place at the time.
Winters ties to the Miami Valley also lie in the city of Bellbrook. Below is an interview with Jo Ellen Fannin of the Winters Library. She reveals the history of the building and recounts Jonathan Winters' last visit there.