Col. William Calvin Pinson
FAYETTEVILLE, NC — “Local boy returns home...”
August 12, 2019 -William Calvin Pinson (Bill), beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, died quietly today following an extended illness. He was 98.
The retired U.S. Army Colonel died peacefully at 2:17 p.m. at his home with his devoted wife of 70 years, Helen, at his bedside.
Born in Greenwood, South Carolina on July 27, 1921, Bill graduated from Greenwood High School before enrolling at Clemson University. He was a member of the Clemson University Class of 1942, “The War Class.” Upon graduation, Bill received a U.S. Army Commission as an Infantry officer, and began training at Camp Wolters, Texas, before being deployed to Europe to fight with the 29th Infantry Division in World War II. During World War II, Bill was appointed aide-de-camp to Major General Charles H. Gerhardt, Commander of the 29th Infantry Division at the the end of the war and during part of the occupation of Germany. During his time with the 29th Infantry Division, Bill was awarded two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star with “V” device for distinguished service in combat.
After the war, Bill was deployed to Brazil and later to Ft. Leavenworth, KS, where he met the love of his life, Helen Jewell Lewis. The two were married on May 8, 1949 and raised three sons.
Bill enjoyed a distinguished 30 year career as an officer in the United States Army. He served with distinction at posts across the world. Notably, Bill provided direct staff support to the Armistice Affairs Commission, following the Korean War-serving as Assistant Secretary within the United Nations Command. Additionally, he served on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon, and as Chief of Staff at Ft. Gordon, Georgia.
Across a lifetime, “The Colonel”, as he was so fondly called, was an active churchman and a devoted Christian. He was especially devoted to the work of Christian education, and he spent countless hours teaching Sunday school classes and leading Bible study groups.
Bill was preceded in death by his mother, Mattie Jane Timmerman Pinson; his father, Joel B. Pinson; his beloved aunts Anna Virginia Pinson and Bertie Elizabeth (Peckie) Berfoot, and his beloved uncle Charles T. Berfoot (known as “Uncle Dear”).
Bill is survived by his wife, Helen Lewis Pinson; three sons John W. Pinson, Robert C. Pinson (Suzanne), and Jerald B. Pinson (Cheryl); grandchildren Mathew A. Pinson (Susan), Mary Frances Pinson, Hunter Pinson, Molly-Mae Helen Pinson, Calvin Pinson, Johanna Thoma (Dan), Stephen St. Germain (Samantha); and great-grandchildren Elizabeth Pinson, Henry Pinson, Odin Thoma, Liam Thoma, Harper St. Germain, and Lily St. Germain.
The family will receive friends Thursday, August 15 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Jernigan-Warren Funeral home 545 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC. The family will also receive friends Friday, August 16 from 6-7 p.m. at Blyth Funeral Home 1425 Montague Avenue, Greenwood, SC. A graveside service with full military honors will be held at Magnolia Cemetery 416 Magnolia Avenue, Greenwood, SC on Saturday, August 17 at noon.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to Cross Creek Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina.