Her name graces the Winspear Opera House — along with her husband’s. Margot and William Winspear donated the record-setting $42 million that got the development of the opera house underway, but that’s only the most evident example of their philanthropy, which included $1.5 million for an endowed chair in opera studies for UNT’s College of Music and millions to the UT Southwestern Medical Center for Alzheimer’s research.
Margot Winspear died Tuesday in an assisted care facility, having suffered from Alzheimer’s since the 1990s. Bill Winspear died of cancer in 2007 at 73. The Canadian-born businessman had founded the Dallas manufacturing company, Associated Materials. He was a charter member of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation — the origins of the AT&T PAC — and supervised the selection of Sir Norman Foster as the architect of the Winspear Opera House.
Margot Winspear was also a long-time board member of the Dallas Opera. In a prepared statement, Steve Suellentrop, chairman of the Dallas Opera, said, “Our hearts go out to Don and Ellen Winspear and to all the grieving friends and family members. We will never forget Margot’s warmth, her quiet grace, or her ever-present smile. “She was, and is, irreplaceable.”
Margot Winspear is survived by five children and numerous grandchildren.
Video reports on the signature design elements of the Winspear: