Dr. J. Paul Wingert Jr., 85, died Friday at his home in Stuart, Fla., after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
He was born in Everett, son of the late J. Paul Sr. and Sidonia (Nier) Wingert. He grew up in and spent most of his life living and working in Blair County in the Altoona/Hollidaysburg area before retiring to Stuart.
Surviving are a son, David and wife, Kathy, of Lebanon, Pa., and their children, Daniel and Katie; a daughter, Polly Tabeling and husband, William, of Peachtree Corners, Ga., and their children, Andrew and Kate; two stepsons: Kim Cartwright and wife, Brenda, of Ellsworth, Maine, and their daughter, Joy, and Lance Cartwright of Stuart, Fla., and his children, Hunter, Wyatt and Georgia; and a son-in-law, Gary "Wing" Fountain of Ellsworth, Maine, and his sons, Nicholas and Clark.
He is also survived by two brothers-in-law: George C. Kelchner III of Hollidaysburg and George "Buddy" Kimball and wife, Evie, of St. Augustine, Fla.; a sister-in-law, Carolyn "Sissy" Milford of Charlotte, N.C.; and a cousin, Sidonia "Sis" Locher of Martinsburg.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Judith (Kelchner); a stepdaughter, Pamela (Cartwright) Fountain; and a stepson, Lloyd Cartwright.
After graduating from The Peddie School in 1945, Dr. Wingert attended Brown University until 1948, when he joined the U.S. Air Force, serving until 1953 and achieving the rank of first lieutenant. After his graduation from Juniata College in 1955 and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1959, he served his internship at Altoona Hospital, where he met Judith Kelchner, and they married on July 16, 1960. After completing a residency at the Cleveland Clinic in 1963, he returned to Altoona to practice internal medicine. In 1968, he became the first board-certified physician in internal medicine in Blair County.
In 1972, Dr. Wingert co-founded Blair Medical Associates. The partnership began on a Sunday morning in 1971. While making rounds at Altoona Hospital, Dr. Wingert and cardiologist Dr. Marvin Meisner discussed the problem of working seven days a week. What began as a simple arrangement to work every other Sunday in coverage for one another grew into the concept of Blair Medical Associates. Later that year, the agreement was formalized when Dr. Philip Hoovler, family practice, joined Dr. Wingert and Dr. Meisner. On Jan. 1, 1972, they began their joint practice of medicine in the office of Dr. Wingert at the Blair Medical Center, located on Howard Avenue in Altoona. There were only three examining rooms and four employees at the time.
Today, Blair Medical Associates has more than 50 physicians and extenders and satellite offices located in Altoona, Bellwood, Duncansville, Hollidaysburg, Huntingdon, Roaring Spring and Tyrone. Dr. Wingert considered this collaboration, as opposed to any personal achievement, his most important professional accomplishment.
After the death of his wife, Judy, in 1990 and his retirement from Blair Medical in 1991, Dr. Wingert moved to Stuart, Fla., where he was blessed to meet Gwendolyn Cartwright. The couple married on July 16, 1993, in Southwest Harbor, Maine.
Dr. Wingert will be remembered most for his relationships with his friends and family, for whom his quiet, steady nature was an ever-present manifestation of his steadfast love.
A funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 29, 2013, at the Mariner Sands Chapel, 6500 SE Congressional Way, Stuart, Fla., Dr. William Weimer officiating. A private graveside service will be held at the discretion of the family.
Arrangements are by Martin Funeral Home and Crematory, Stuart, Fla.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mariner Sands Chapel, 6500 SE Congressional Way, Stuart, FL 34997, or to Treasure Coast Hospice, 1201 SE Indian St., Stuart, FL 34997, Attn: Foundation.