Nat Taylor Winston Jr.

October 15, 1927December 31, 2013

Winston Jr., Nat T. Psychiatric healthcare pioneer, Nat Taylor Winston Jr (Dr. Nat) died peacefully Tuesday, December 31, 2013. A native of Johnson City, TN, he is the son of Nat Taylor Winston and Frances Naomi Colblantz. He attended Science Hill High School serving as class president and graduating valedictorian before deploying to the Pacific Theater of WW2, where he commanded as an infantry officer. After serving the United States, he attended Vanderbilt University graduating Magna Cum Laude from Vanderbilt Medical School in 1953. He quickly gained success in the psychiatric field as the first Director of the Johnson City Mental Health Clinic and was later appointed the first Superintendent of Moccasin Bend Psychiatric Hospital, where his work gained national recognition placing Tennessee on the forefront of mental healthcare. Credited by Readers Digest to “spawning the birth of a quiet psychiatric revolution”, he was appointed Commissioner of Mental Health for Tennessee by Gov. Frank Clemet and again under Gov. Buford Ellington. After a Republican bid for the 1974 gubernatorial seat, Dr. Nat entered the private sector founding American Psychiatric Hospitals, which later merged with Hospital Affiliates before being acquired by HCA. Dr. Nat continued in private healthcare by building and opening hospitals for sexually abused adolescents and serving as Medical Director for several companies and hospitals. In 2005, he was awarded the ‘Beyond the Call’ award for exceptional professional dedication to the Psychiatric Field and in 2006, he was presented the Dorothea Dix award for his outstanding contribution to Psychiatry. Dr. Nat also gained national recognition as an entertainer and a banjo player earning a gold record for selling over one million copies of his successful 'How to Play' instructional record series. He was a sought after speaker across the country and was an avid traveler to the corners of the world. Dr. Nat had a true love of the Appalachian culture and is considered an expert and ambassador to the history, music, and people of Appalachia. He is survived by his wife Martha Casey Winston, sister Amy Winston Holt (Fred) of Florence AL, daughter Sarah Winston Cooper (Gary) of Rye England, sons Nat T. Winston III, John H. Winston V (Kristen) and step son Robert M. Schneider (Lee Ann) The family requests any memorial gifts be made to the Dept. of Appalachian Music Studies East Tennessee State University: PO Box 70721 Johnson City, TN 37614. Graveside service will be held at a later date.


Nat Taylor Winston Jr.

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Dr. Van Johnson

March 26, 2014

Dr. Nat Winston, recruited me as a medical director for one of the hospitals he started in the 1980's. We remained friends. I will surely miss him.

cindy tucker

February 13, 2014

Dr nat you will be dearly missed i enjoyed listening to your stories and your picking and i fill honored to have known you and mrs martha two great people and who i was first old enough to vote for you such a blessing love you both mrs martha if you need anything please call i miss my dad care and be blessed and know dr nate is in gods hands now

Dan Page

February 6, 2014

Nat and I traveled together in the late 1970's. He taught me much about developing psychiatric programs. He opened the first "open door psychiatric hospital" in the country in Chattanooga TN. He will always be remembered! Dan Page

Eileen Steinhice

January 16, 2014

When Nat became Commissioner of Mental Health, my grandmother (Marion Peck) was his Press Secretary. They were already good friends. They learned that their birthdays were two days apart, and Earl Scruggs' was four days after that. Great excuse for a party! I picture him now in that Great Cabin In The Sky, with Marion and Earl, and Doc Watson, and Johnny Cash, and many more loved ones, having one heck of a hootenanny!

Joe Baker

January 14, 2014

My father, Dr. Joseph J Baker preceded Dr. Winston as the Commissioner of Mental Health and always thought well of him as a trusted colleague. Funny but I saw Dr.Winston's name this week in a Johny Cash biography and just wondered, searched the internet just now. I still have my how-to banjo record and can still pick a very things for fun with the Scruggs finger roll. God Bless

Emily Winston Watters

January 12, 2014

You did so much in your lifetime. So much more than most people accomplish. You worked so hard to achieve everything. So many people's lives are changed because of your help and guidance. Your work in your field helped other psychiatrists and psychologists treat their patients more successfully. I turned out more like you in my interests in medicine and my drive to be the top student in college or the best employee in the clinic I work in. I am taking classes through Yale and Princeton and your Alma Mater, Vanderbilt. I wish I could have told you about it. You did have a full life. I wished we had gotten a chance to have talked about Italy and our trips there. Bless you Martha and John, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Bless you Grandfather,and flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.

Maryesther Jackson

January 8, 2014

He was truly an amazing man! What a life!

Mary Cowan

January 5, 2014

I love you Nat, you meant the world to me. Can't believe I'm in Florence,Italy, birthplace of your beloved Operas, as you flew over! This will leave a huge hole in my soul, my friend. I will be there for sweet Martha. Fly with the angels, dear friend. You will never be've got plenty of folks to entertain on the other side!

January 3, 2014

Such a dear friend. Words are not adequate. Just learned of his death and am greatly saddened. But he told me many times,"Vonda I have had an amazing life. " .He did so much good in this world and helped so many. Just words are inadequate to express the love we all felt for the great man and to convey the loss so many of us feel. I feel so blessed to have known him and worked closely with him. He was like the grand father I never had. I love you Nat T . I will miss you greatly , and though since you moved back to Nashville and retired we didn't talk a lot, I always knew you were there. Blessings and prayers to your family. You will be greatly missed.

Kaye Coffey Shoemake

January 3, 2014

Martha: Nat has been a friend to our family from the time I was very small. Our family always looked forward to his visits to his cabin when we were growing up. Especially our Dad & Grandpa, (Old Man Sam) as Nat called him. Nat was always good to our family, and we will forever have wonderful memories of our dear friend. May God Bless you, and all the family in your time of grief.