Earle Everett Pinkham, 98, an avid book collector, reader of histories who loved his friends, family

Chester resident Earle Pinkham, 98, died at Springfield Hospital of a heart attack on Friday, March 10, 2017. He was born on Dec. 2, 1918 to Earle Everett Pinkham Sr. and Aletha Florence Parrott in Lynn, Mass.

Mr. Pinkham graduated from Lynn English High School in 1936 and attended Burdett Business College. A World War II veteran, he enlisted on Jan. 8, 1940, served in Panama in 1942. On June 4 of that year, he married Barbara Louise Winston before being shipped to North Africa and the China Burma India Theater in Karachi with the Army Air Corps. The couple had two children, Cheryl and Galen.

On his birthday in 1945, Mr. Pinkham was honorably discharged as a 2nd lieutenant. Mr. Pinkham served as treasurer for the North Shore Rock & Mineral Club and donated much of his personal glass and mineral collection with Lydia Pinkham papers to the Lynn Museum & Historical Society. He was a 32nd Degree Mason Golden Fleece Lodge in Lynn, Mass.

When he retired from 34 years with Bursaw Oil Co.’s service station management in Salem and Lynn, he relocated to Belchertown, Mass., where his daughter Cheryl had a profitable real estate business and he worked part time for Kaiser Permanente’s Valley Health Plans.

In 1963, Barbara’s brother George, his wife Jean and her brother Edward decided to build in Grafton after several delightful summers at Potato Hill. When the Winstons retired from Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., it seemed a good time for the Pinkhams to join them nearby in Chester in 1992.

Since his wife’s death in 2008, Barbara H. Kolodziej, also known as BK, has been his caretaker and highly valued friend, allowing him to stay in his own home as he wished. She has been his advocate and frequent companion both for medical appointments and daily care as well as family occasions.

A friend, Professor W. Edward Brown, likely recognized his interest in history and encouraged him in that direction and he became an avid book collector. He took advantage of Malcolm and Ann Summers’ services at the Chester Bookworm if he came across a collectible volume from a tag sale or a discovery at the local dump that needed some extra care.

Mr. Pinkham characterized his 97th birthday party as the best one ever. He never missed his morning exercise routine and was quite pleased with the Patriots recent success, but will no longer be concerned with brackets. “It’s none of my … business but…”

He especially enjoyed recently hearing the 1940s hit Frenesi by Artie Shaw that had been his favorite while serving in Panama. His close friends BK, Noreen Sands, Claire Hammond, Suzie Hammond, Noni Spaulding, Elizabeth Kolodziej and Jim Kolodziej  gathered with him on his last day to finish reading to him David Baldacci’s King and Maxwell.

He had a fascination with the ancient history and found Graham Hancock’s Magicians of the Gods recommended to him by his grandson Richard to be particularly insightful. He passed it on to son Galen and Galen’s wife Sandy two days before his death and had a very enjoyable conversation with Sandy about it just eight hours before he called 911.

He was always interested in explanations of the existence of blond haired blue eyed Eskimos and other clues to early Viking visits to North America. His favorite picture may have been the puzzle he and BK assembled of Machu Picchu and mounted close to his kitchen door. His children and grandchildren considered him one of the kindest and smartest men they have known and remember him with love.

Mr. Pinkham is survived by his son Galen of Grafton and Galen‘s wife, brother Edward of Lynn, Mass.,  grandchildren Laura Dearth, James Pinkham, Julia Pinkham, all of Columbus, Ohio, and Richard Pinkham of Bend, Ore., as well as five great grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his brother Norman in 1994, his daughter Cheryl in 2007 and by his wife Barbara in 2008.

Arrangements are under the direction of Davis Memorial Chapel, Springfield. A graveside service is planned for June 4, 2017 at Cobb Cemetery in Houghtonville. In lieu of flowers please mail memories to Galen Pinkham, 2026 Stage Coach Road, Grafton VT 05146.

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