Remembering Donald James Winslow (1911-2010) A'34 by Charlotte Lindgren Winslow

Susanne Belovari, DCA: Donald died July 10, 2010. I am truly grateful that I had the chance to meet Donald and Charlotte Lindgren when he contacted DCA to donate Tufts related records. Over the years and throughout our collaboration in creating his online biographical exhibit, Memories of Tufts: Donald J. Winslow (A’34), I discovered that Donald was a truly generous person who stayed interested in the affairs of the day and his field, was delighted in Charlotte's professional achievements, wanted to share his memories, and did not shut himself off from life as so many people do in their later years. I have been thinking of him repeatedly this weekend. It is almost disorienting to look at an evening sky with the half moon trailed by a banner of clouds and to realize that the eyes and particular gaze who have watched this same world for almost a century are now gone forever.

Tufts' community, DCA, and I myself benefited from Donald's memories and generosity, and I lost a friend last week.

Remembering Donald James Winslow (1911-2010) A'34 by Charlotte Lindgren Winslow

When Donald James Winslow was born in the then president’s house at Lasell Junior College in Auburndale, Massachusetts, he had already been destined for Tufts College. His father, Guy M. Winslow, an alumnus, was for many years a trustee of the University and a close friend of its future president, John Cousens; so he would send all four of his children to Tufts. By the time Donald graduated from Newton High School in 1929, his older brother Richard and sister Marjorie were already attending Tufts, and his younger sister Priscilla would graduate from Jackson in 1937.

Both Donald and his brother Richard (1930) joined the fraternity Delta Upsilon and were elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He took most pride though in being on the staff of the Tufts Weekly, becoming Editor-in-Chief in his senior year. He not only wrote many articles for it, but also learned to run the hand presses. In 1934, he received his A.B. degree, but it was the height of the Great Depression and there were no jobs available. During those years, Tufts offered a free Masters Degree to anyone who studied at Tufts for another year, which Donald did, receiving an A.M. degree in 1935.

Donald had a distinguished academic career. He earned a Ph.D. from Boston University in 1942 the same day that he joined the USAF Weather Service where he served until 1946. He was a professor at Boston University for forty-three years and Chairman of the English Department from 1952-1962. He established one of the earliest courses in Biography in the United States and wrote a number of articles and monographs on Thomas Hardy. He also published a Glossary of Terms on Life Writing and for years was bibliographer for the journal Biography published by the University of Hawaii.

He had two sons by his first wife Lois Nelson : Paul and Sanford. He enjoyed showing them the New York Natural History Museum’s permanent exhibit of the wax models of a salamander skull that his father had made at Tufts as part of his doctoral studies in 1898.

Donald became Boston University Professor Emeritus in 1977. In 1978 he married Charlotte Lindgren, a professor of English at Emerson College. When he moved to her hometown of Ipswich, he was delighted to read a column in the local paper by his old Tufts English Professor Myron Files. He contacted him and his wife and the two couples saw each other frequently until Myron’s death in 1984.

After retirement Donald returned to his interest in Lasell College and in the early education of women. He and Charlotte moved to Auburndale where he published Lasell: A History of the First Junior College for Women and established the college archives. They spent summers in Dorset, England, where they both did research and were active in community life. At their marriage in Oxford, England, their best man had been Walter Judson, Don’s old Tufts College dorm mate, and Don’s last letter before his death was to Walt, now 96, who still does consulting as a heart specialist in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Don had a deep attachment to Tufts his whole life and recently wrote a series of remembrances for the archives at Tufts, the Digital Collections and Archives, used to create the online biographical exhibit Memories of Tufts: Donald J. Winslow (A’34). Donald remembered Jumbo, the Rez when it was still a reservoir, the old hand set printing presses, and his family’s first crystal radio set where they could hear through the single pair of earphones the broadcasts from WGI, Tufts’s early radio station. A piece of University history has truly been lost with his passing.