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A Love Affair Starts on a Dude Ranch, Continues in Art Museums Around the World

August 31, 2011

Herbert Sheingold had just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine then the United States entered World War II. He joined the Army and, as a soldier, traveled to New Guinea, Australia and the Philippines.

“That experience taught me, and my generation, a new way of thinking,” Herbert says. “Traveling is easy, and there is a lot to see.”

When Herbert returned home to New York City, one of his first stops was with his brother to go riding at a dude ranch.

“That’s where I first saw Rhoda,” Herbert says of his beloved wife of more than 60 years. “She was practicing her English riding. I introduced myself.”

Just six months later, Herbert knew he had found his lifelong travel partner. “I brought her home from a date one night, gave her a passionate kiss and asked her to marry me—without planning,” Herbert says. “She said ‘yes’ immediately.”

During their more than six decades together, Herbert and Rhoda’s passion for traveling grew, and art museums were among their favorite excursions. But while they experienced art across four continents, their greatest adventures were in their hometown of Queens, New York.

They raised two children, emphasizing honesty, integrity and education as keys to success, in their household and in life. They also worked together in a dental practice.

“I was a dentist and Rhoda was my nurse,” Herbert says. “Rhoda got her bachelor’s degree and was a registered nurse, which was very unusual at that time. Rhoda was intelligent, confident and practical. I saw these qualities immediately when we dated, and that is why I asked her to marry me so quickly.”

The Sheingolds’ daughter Nancy says, “It was a love affair like you couldn’t believe. Until the day my other passed, they held hands every night in front of the television. It was so special for me, my brother Richard and both of our kids to see love so deep.”

When Rhoda passed away earlier this year, her family requested that gifts in her memory be given to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s M. Ann Brown Cardiology Research Fund, which provides support to Keith Mankowitz, MD. Dr. Mankowitz researches hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart condition that Nancy and her son Glenn share. Nancy’s daughter Lauren died from HCM in
2005.

At the time of Lauren’s death, Nancy moved her own care to Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and specifically to Dr. Mankowitz. Also around that time, Herbert and Rhoda moved to St. Louis from Arizona to have the best possible medical care close to home.

“The first few times we were treated at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, we knew we wanted to continue there because of the wonderful care and consideration we were shown,” Herbert says.

After Nancy’s deep appreciation for her HCM care, Herbert’s treatment for dialysis and anemia and Rhoda’s care for broken vertebrae, the Sheingold family came to an understanding.

“Our family members who live out of town all say, ‘If I get sick, I’m coming to St. Louis for treatment!’” Herbert says.

Herbert laughs, noting that after five years of living in St. Louis he can find the St. Louis Art Museum, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. And that is enough for him.

To give to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s M. Ann Brown Cardiology Research Fund (#6446), please select Give Now at the top of this page.
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