Sunday, May 25, 2003

Obituary: Janet Winston

Fitness advocate helped many to lose weight, be healthy

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mrs. Winston

Retired businesswoman and diet and fitness advocate Janet Winston died Friday at her home in Amberley Village. She was 86.

She graduated from Western Hills High School in 1935 and earned a bachelor's in education from the University of Cincinnati in 1939.She went into business at age 50. She had struggled with a weight problem most of her life and tried one diet after another. Then she bought a diet book by Dr. Morton Glenn of the New York Obesity Clinic. When Glenn spoke in Cincinnati, she had already lost 30 pounds. He persuaded her to start a diet group business.

Her endeavor succeeded and in a year she merged her business with a national organization, Diet Workshop. She became the regional director for 30 years before selling her business.

"She was a wonderful people person, a wonderful employer, and she took care of her people," said her daughter-in-law, Cindy Winston of Bridgetown. "She wanted people to change their lives and be healthy - she touched so many people."

Cindy Winston said her mother-in-law was energetic, robust and enjoyed life. She enjoyed her business and helping people.

She said Mrs. Winston would stay up late creating diet recipes.

Mrs. Winston's dinner tables were a "free-for-all" with an array of guests and a mixture of traditional Jewish food as well as diet-type dishes.

"She was just a mom to everybody, a Jewish mom. She tried really hard to make the world a better place," said Cindy Winston. "She very innovative and creative in her marketing and enthusiasm for what she did, a motivator and encourager. She used to watch the preachers on the Sunday morning TV shows and I'd ask, 'Why are watching them - you're Jewish.' She'd say, 'Look at them! They're just great motivators!'"

In 1976, Mrs. Winston offered free instructions to Cincinnati area policemen to help them lose weight. When the FDA proposed to ban saccharin in the late 1970s, she began petitions and made phone calls to the White House and other government offices to try to stop the ban. She wanted to make sure diabetics, hypoglycemics, heart patients and dieters had a sugar substitute.

Her husband of 56 years, William Winston, died in February.

Survivors include her brother Robert Friedman of Amberley Village; a son, Louis of Bridgetown; two daughters, Margie Galant of Farmington Hills, Mich. and Shelly Roland of Washington, D.C.; and seven grandchildren.

Visitation will be 9:30 a.m. today at Weil Funeral Home, 8350 Cornell Road, Symmes Township, with service at 10 a.m. The family will sit shiva today through Wednesday at her home, 3533 Amberacres Drive.

Memorials: American Diabetes Association, 8899 Brookside Avenue, West Chester, OH 45069-7112; Alzheimers Association, 644 Linn St., Cincinnati, OH 45203-1720, or the Hospice of Cincinnati, 4310 Cooper Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242-5613.


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