Floyd H. Pinkston
April 15, 1920 - Aug. 22, 2014
Floyd Hendrick Pinkston, 94, of Springfield, died Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, at a local hospital. A native of Henry County, Floyd was the son of Percy R. and Frances (Fanny) Hendrick Pinkston, of Clinton, and brother to William Pinkston of Pleasant Hill, and Ruby Pinkston Hull of Clinton. Over the years, Floyd achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, was a newspaper publisher and editor, and served in several civilian public information roles for the Air Force. God blessed “Pink” with good health, a bright mind and even a brighter personality over his 94 years, from his birthday, April 15, 1920, until his final “promotion” last Friday.
Floyd is survived by Micky Pinkston, his loving wife of 44 years; daughters Marilyn (Jon) Kerrick of Grain Valley, and Nancy (Bill) Doran of Orlando, Fla.; son Mark (Jennifer) Pinkston of Lee’s Summit; stepson Larry (Karen) Smith of Friendswood, Texas; stepdaughter-in-law Sandy Smith of Willow Springs; and brother-in-law Chuck Hull of Clinton. He was also “Gramps” to 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, stepson Jerry Smith, and grandson Chris Smith.
Like many of his generation, Floyd’s younger years were formed by both the drought and great depression of the ’30s when his family was, according to him, “dirt farmers.” He had the gift of writing, and following high-school graduation was employed at the local newspaper, The Clinton Eye, where he worked for six cents an hour.
Floyd loved his country and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps (the forerunner to the Air Force) as a private in April 1941, a full seven months before Pearl Harbor. By May1943, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. During WWII, Pink served as a cryptographic/message center officer in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia before going to Italy. While in Italy, he unexpectedly ran into his brother who was serving as well — a chance reunion that delighted them both.
In November 1945, Floyd returned to Clinton while finishing out his active duty and also returned to The Clinton Eye. In 1946, his active duty ended and his career as an Air Force reservist started. Pink progressed at both The Clinton Eye and in the reserves, and he married Mary Virginia Hoppe (three children, Marilyn, Nancy and Mark). Floyd eventually became editor and co-publisher of The Eye. In the reserves, Pink continued to earn promotions, with his final rank being Lieutenant Colonel when his active reserve duty ended in 1963. He concluded his retired reserve service on his birthday in 1980.
In 1968, after nearly 24 years of work at The Clinton Eye, Floyd sold the paper and became a civil servant for the Department of Defense and, in late 1969, he married Micky (Mildred) Clegg Smith, of Clinton. Floyd served for more than 17 years at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in Belton, initially as Public Information Officer for 10th Air Force NORAD. He also held multiple other public information posts over the years, retiring in 1985 as Chief, Public Affairs Officer, 442nd Tactical Fighter Wing and as Base Information Officer.
After both Pink and Micky completed their careers, they enjoyed their retirement years in Belton with many activities related to civilian aviation. With Micky as the pilot of their Piper Warrior aircraft, and Pink always occupying the right seat, they traveled the country, often to “fly ins” and in volunteer service for multiple causes. The loving pair moved to Springfield in 1995 and continued to fly and develop life in a new community. This included becoming members at Ridgecrest Baptist Church, enjoying close neighbors and coffee get-togethers. They both delighted in time spent with family and loved to hear the exploits of their grand- and great-grandchildren.
Floyd took pride in his service to the United States and we appreciate him for it. We take greater delight in that Pink was joyful, healthy and mentally sharp until last week when pneumonia overtook his normal healthy state. His transition to meet Jesus was peaceful and we are thankful.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Floyd will convene at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home in Springfield followed by 12 p.m. military honors and graveside interment of ashes at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery. Memorial contributions are encouraged to be directed to the Wounded Warrior Project at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Online condolences may be made to www.gormanscharpf.com.
Arrangements: Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home, Inc., 1947 E. Seminole, Springfield, MO 65804; 417-886-9994.