Longtime Arts Supporter Don Winspear Dies at 62

Longtime supporter of the Dallas arts community Don Winspear died Sept. 17 at the age of 62.

Don served on various boards including on the boards of Goodwill, the AT&T Performing Arts Center, and the Dallas Opera. 

The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center is named for his parents. 

“Don was a part of the Dallas arts community and the AT&T Performing Arts Center since the very beginning,” a statement on the center’s website reads. “Our gorgeous Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House is named after Don’s late parents who helped encourage his love of the arts, so much so that Don and his wife Ellen regularly attended Broadway, dance and opera and were big fans of the many small and emerging groups featured in our Elevator Project, frequently applauding their work from the front row.”

Don graduated from St. Mark’s School of Texas in 1977, and met Ellen Needham while he was studying there. The pair married in 1981. He finished his undergraduate studies in 1981 and received his Master of Arts degree from the University of Texas in 1985. 

Don and Ellen have two sons — Frank and Ryan — and five grandchildren.

Don founded market research firm Crescent Research Inc. in 1997. He also served on the vestry and as Junior Warden at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

He was struck with transverse myelitis, a rare neurological illness, in 2012 and the disease left him paralyzed from the chest down. Don and his wife Ellen worked to raise awareness of the disease and funding for the CONQUER (Collaboration On Neuroimmunology: Question, Understand, Educate, Restore) Project to benefit transverse myelitis research at UT Southwestern via benefit concerts at the Kessler. 

His family asks those who wish to honor Don to consider a memorial gift to the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Dallas Opera, to UT Southwestern’s CONQUER TM program by visiting this website or by sending a contribution to P.O. Box 910888, Dallas, TX 75391-0888, or to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (5923 Royal Lane, Dallas).

To read more of his obituary published in the Dallas Morning News, visit their website.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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