Dr. Richard A. Sindler, former chief of radiology at St. Agnes Hospital, who had a second career as a Howard Street antiques dealer, died in his sleep Sunday at his home in Towson. He was 93.
Richard Arnold Sindler, son of Dr. Joseph Sindler, a general practitioner and regional medical officer for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and his wife, Lee Sindler, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised on Eutaw Place.
Dr. Sindler was 16 when he graduated in 1944 from City College, where he was class president and the varsity lacrosse team goalie. He studied at the University of California, Los Angeles and from 1945 to 1946 served in the U.S. Merchant Marine.
He returned to Baltimore and entered the Johns Hopkins University, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1948. He earned his medical degree in 1952 from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. From 1952 to 1953, he completed an internship at the old Sinai Hospital on East Monument Street and a residency in 1956 in radiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
He was board certified in 1956 in both diagnostic and radiation therapy. He then served for two years as an Air Force radiologist stationed at Clark Field in Luzon in the Philippines, and after being discharged in 1958 began working in the radiology department at St. Agnes Hospital, where he was named department chairman in 1972.
In addition to his work at St. Agnes, Dr. Sindler was an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, teaching medical students and radiology residents, and in 1969 he established Perilla, Sindler and Associates, whose office was in the Medical Arts Building. The practice later moved to West Baltimore.
In the late 1970s, the private practice provided stadium X-ray services for the old Colts and what is now known as the Washington Football Team from a Winnebago van at home games. It was the first use of a portable X-ray unit by an NFL team. The practice also provided field X-rays for employees of the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. and the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. during the peak asbestos exposure period, and was at Homewood Field in 1984 when U.S. Lacrosse hosted the World Lacrosse Games at Hopkins.
After leaving St. Agnes in 1987 and undergoing major heart surgery, Dr. Sindler established Richard A. Sindler Fine Arts in 1988 in Federal Hill and later moved the business to North Howard Street’s Antiques Row district, and also had an online presence.
“Coming from a world of reading X-ray films in a dark basement office, he relished learning and sharing the historicity of his pieces and the exchange with curious people who came in and out off the street to look,” according to a biographical profile of Dr. Sindler submitted by his family.
“There was an interesting story for each piece he sold. He had a very broad and diverse knowledge of historical artifacts, from jade pieces from the Ming Dynasty to wooden African masks and chalices.”
During his days as an antiques dealer, Dr. Sindler returned to practice at what was then Maryland General Hospital, now the University of Maryland Midtown Medical Center, from 1994 to 2000, reading emergency room and intensive care unit X-rays. He also did virtual physical and whole-body scanning for a practice in Rockville.
In 2013, in notes he sent to the Hopkins alumni magazine, he wrote, “I have been a radiologist for over 50 years now, and I have enjoyed every moment of it!”
From 2002 to 2003, he worked part-time at Bon Secours Hospital and at American Radiology at Greenspring Station in Lutherville reading X-rays.
An avid tennis player, Dr. Sindler was a regular Monday night player at the Bare Hills Tennis Club with his wife of 58 years, the former Victoria Norkus. After recovering from quadruple bypass surgery, he was named the Towson Racquet Club’s Player of the Year.
During the 1970s and 1980s, he was a volunteer lacrosse coach at McDonogh School, and one of his sons, Jeffrey Sindler of Alexandria, Virginia, said that when he was an eighth grade student at McDonogh, he was unable to score a goal on his then-50-year-old father during the annual eighth grade vs. faculty game.
He was an inveterate collector of stamps, coins and antiques and enjoyed skiing and taking annual ski trips with his wife to the Alps and also in Europe. Beach walking, traveling and gardening were additional pastimes.
At Dr. Sindler’s request, no services will be held.
In addition to his wife, a former registered nurse and real estate agent, and son, Dr. Sindler is survived by three other sons, James “Jay” Sindler of Rodgers Forge and Steven Sindler and John Sindler, both of Annapolis; a daughter, Susan Sindler of Towson; and several grandchildren.