Dr Robert Nowinski was a prominent orthopedic surgeon and part-owner of OrthoNeuro, a healthcare company based in Columbus, Ohio. He was also a passionate winemaker and founder of Robert John Vineyards, a boutique winery in Napa Valley, California. He died on June 27, 2020, at the age of 59, after a long illness.
A Successful Career in Medicine and Business
Dr Nowinski was born on October 15, 1960, in South Euclid, Ohio. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, and then attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in pre-medical studies. He then went on to study medicine at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, where he graduated with honors in 1986. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Mount Carmel Medical Center in Columbus, and then pursued a fellowship in sports medicine and arthroscopy at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Los Angeles.
Dr Nowinski returned to Columbus in 1992 and joined Orthopedic & Neurological Consultants, which later became OrthoNeuro. He specialized in shoulder and knee surgery, and was known for his expertise and innovation in minimally invasive techniques. He was also a partner and co-founder of the New Albany Surgery Center, a joint venture with Mount Carmel Health System. He treated thousands of patients, including professional athletes, and was recognized as one of the top doctors in America by several publications.
Dr Nowinski was also a successful entrepreneur and businessman, who helped grow OrthoNeuro into one of the largest and most respected orthopedic practices in the region. He was involved in several other ventures, such as the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Columbus Crew, and the New Albany Country Club. He was also a generous philanthropist, who supported various causes and organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society, and the Ohio State University.
A Passion for Wine and Life
Dr Nowinski had a lifelong love for wine and winemaking, which he inherited from his father, who was a wine collector and connoisseur. He visited Napa Valley for the first time in 1998, and was captivated by its beauty and culture. He decided to pursue his dream of owning a vineyard and making his own wine, and in 2009, he founded Robert John Vineyards, named after his father and himself. He acquired a 10-acre property in the Stags Leap District, one of the most prestigious appellations in Napa Valley, and planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. He hired a renowned winemaker, Rob Lawson, to craft his wines, and released his first vintage in 2012. His wines received rave reviews and awards from critics and consumers alike, and were featured in several restaurants and wine shops across the country.
Dr Nowinski was very proud of his wines, and enjoyed sharing them with his family and friends. He often hosted wine tastings and dinners at his vineyard, where he welcomed his guests with his warm hospitality and charisma. He loved to travel, golf, ski, and spend time with his loved ones. He was described by those who knew him as a kind, generous, and fun-loving person, who lived life to the fullest.
A Tragic End and a Lasting Legacy
Dr Nowinski was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer in 2019, and underwent several treatments and surgeries. He fought bravely and optimistically, but his condition worsened over time. He passed away peacefully at his home in New Albany, Ohio, on June 27, 2020, surrounded by his family. He was 59 years old.
Dr Nowinski is survived by his wife of 34 years, Lisa Nowinski; his children, Robert John Nowinski II, Lauren Nowinski, and Nicole Nowinski; his mother, Barbara Nowinski; his siblings, Richard Nowinski, Ronald Nowinski, and Renee Nowinski; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He is preceded in death by his father, Robert John Nowinski Sr.
Dr Nowinski will be remembered as a brilliant surgeon, a visionary entrepreneur, a talented winemaker, and a loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, but his spirit will live on in his wines and his legacy.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 11, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of the Resurrection in New Albany, Ohio, with Father Jim Csaszar officiating. A celebration of life will follow at the New Albany Country Club. The family will receive friends on Friday, July 10, 2020, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Schoedinger Funeral Home in New Albany, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Robert John Nowinski Memorial Fund, which will support various charities and causes that Dr Nowinski cared about. Donations can be made online at [this link] or by mail to the Columbus Foundation, 1234 Main Street, Columbus, OH 43215.