Westside Pioneer Home Page

Meet a Westside Pioneer!
Kem Winternitz

What kind of career have you had?
I am a licensed Realtor and ranch/land broker with nearly 30 years of experience and an Accredited Land Consultant with Mason and Morse Ranch company. My office is in Old Colorado Square.

Any of your family members still here?
My step-sister Susie, who was born to my father's first wife, Freddie Sue.

When did your great-grandparents move to the Westside?
1893, when my grandfather, David (Henry) was 2 years old.

Nellie, Dr. Isaac Winternitz's wife.
Courtesy of Wintenitz family

What were their names?
Isaac and Nellie Winternitz.

Where did they come from?
He was from Pennsylvania, and she was from Kansas.

What did they do here?
Isaac is famous for having been shot around 1900 by a girl's father when he refused, because of public health reasons, to bury her when she died of diptheria. He survived the shooting, living until 1908, and he's buried in Fairview Cemetery.
Isaac was one of eight generations of doctors in the family, continuing through his son David (Henry) and grandson David (Robert), who's my father. Isaac is often portrayed by a reenactor with the Old Colorado City Historical Society at its annual “Haunted Memories” event in Fairview Cemetery.
My grandfather, David Henry, married a nurse, Harriet Yates. His medical practice was at 2212 W. Colorado Ave., which doubled as their home and the medical practice. The building is still there and is currently being used as an attorney's office. David was the first chief of staff of what was then known as Beth El Hospital, now known as Memorial Hospital/ University of Colorado. He and Harriet had four children.

Phil McDonald, portraying Isaac for the Old Colorado Historical Society, and Susie Winternitz (right) at the gravesite in 2006.
Westside Pioneer file photo

My father, David Robert Winternitz, was the oldest, born in 1922. He joined the Army Air Corps and served during World War II as a fighter pilot in the Black Sheep Squadron. He was shot down over the South Pacific by enemy aircraft. His flight partner was Dan Rowan from the 1960s and '70s comedy show, “Rowan and Martin.”
When my father returned from the war, he went to Colorado College on the G.I. Bill and then on to medical school to follow in his father's and his grandfather's footsteps He was chief of surgery at Memorial Hospital until shortly before he passed away in 1982.
He married Barbro (Bibbi) Bergman in 1952. She was a former Miss Stockholm.

What are your best memories of growing up on the Westside?
Climbing and playing in the Garden of the Gods. Flying up from Brownies to Girl Scouts at Hamp Hut (Wagon Wheel Council). Girls Scouts still use this facility. I hear them shrieking around the campfire from my house.

What is gone from the Westside now that you wish had stayed?
High Point Camera Obscura and the Old Hidden Inn. They had that touristy smell of popcorn and old timbers.

What has stayed that you wish had gone?
The seedy motels on Colorado and Ridge Road.

How about the way things have changed? (such as schools or traffic or stores)?
I am excited about the completion of the WAAP project but it is very inconvenient and slow for me right now.

LEFT: Dr. David Henry Winternitz, the son of Isaac, and his wife Harriet; RIGHT: Dr. David Robert Winternitz, the son of David Henry; and his second wife Bibbi.
Westside Pioneer photo

Overall, is the Westside better or worse than when you were a kid here? How?
Kem: The Westside maintained its basic charm which is great! The traffic is worse, but the restaurants and shopping are much, much better.
Susie: Not even close! Anyone who lived here back in the '50s or before can attest that they miss their small town and all the neighbors and neighborhoods they knew and trusted. Everyone frequented the same special small markets or neighborhood stores or doctors' offices or department stores where you knew the clerks who waited on you. Those days are gone for good, drowned out by traffic and rules and laws and ordinances that were never needed back in the old days. “Meet a Westside Pioneer” interviews people who have lived all (or most of) their lives on the Colo-rado Springs Westside. If you know someone who meets that criteria, please give us a call at 471-6776.

Would you like to respond to this feature? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter-writing criteria.)