Hedy Colleen Pinkerton

Colonel Hedy C. Pinkerton, USAF Retired, of Winnfield, Louisiana, passed from this world on May 9th, 2013. Born October 1st, 1950 in Winnsboro, Louisiana, Hedy was raised by her parents, Reverend James and Audie Simons before joining the Air Force. She spent 16 years in the Colorado Springs area before finally returning to Louisiana in 2005. Following graduation from Georgetown High School in 1968, as class valedictorian, Hedy continued her education at Northwestern State University, earning a Bachelor's Degree in 1971 and later a Master's from Troy State University. Hedy entered Officer Training School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant six days after her 21st birthday. Following commissioning, she was assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base, where she met her husband, then-Captain James Pinkerton, Jr. The couple was married August 5th, 1972. Over the course of a 29-year Air Force career with assignments in California, Korea, New York, the Pentagon, Colorado, and Italy, Hedy was recognized for excellence. Early in her service, she was selected to become a Women's Air Force Squadron Commander, helping to break down gender barriers. Hedy later served in squadron, group, and vice wing command positions at locations including Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, and Aviano Airbase, Italy. She was named the 1991 Woman of the Year for Community Involvement by the Colorado Springs Junior League, and 1988 Peterson AFB Supervisor of the Year. "In my almost 38 years of service in the Air Force, [Hedy was] the finest colonel that I ever had the pleasure to work with," wrote General (Ret) Steve Lorenz. Later in her Air Force career, Hedy worked with academia in military environments during multiple assignments at the Air Force Academy, ranging from positions as a cadet squadron commander, to the acting Commandant of Cadets, to finally serving as the Director of Admissions. Following retirement from active duty in 2000, Hedy again lead young people at The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina. After several years, Hedy returned to Louisiana to care for her family and accepted a position at her alma mater, Northwestern State University. Beyond her professional career, Hedy strove to improve the community through work with Pilot Club, area food banks, and other service organizations. A friend summed up the impressions of many, stating "‘Joy' has always been Hedy's mantra...in sickness and in health, in friendship and in service and in her unshakable faith." Hedy was preceded in death by her brother, Wendell Simons. Survivors include her husband, Colonel (Ret) James Pinkerton, Jr., of Winnfield; two sons, Major Jason Pinkerton, of Arlington, Virginia, and Michael Pinkerton & wife Andrea, of Colorado Springs; daughter, Holly Delaney & husband J.D., of Chester, New Jersey; parents, Rev. James & Audie Simons, of Winnfield; and 10 grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19th, at First Methodist Church of Winnfield. Memorials may be made to The or to Hebron Cemetery, care of David Herring, 260 J. Vines Rd, Winnfield, LA 71483.

Published in The Gazette on May 14, 2013