Margaret Louise Pinkston

Staunton, Virginia


Staunton, Virginia


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Margaret Louise Fountain Pinkston STAUNTON

Margaret Louise Fountain Pinkston was born on January 27, 1919, in Macon, Georgia, to the late Claude Russell Fountain and Lucy Emilie Landru Fountain.

She spent most of her formative years in Nashville, Tennessee, and started studying violin at the age of five after seeing a performance by Fritz Kreitzler. At 16, she left for New York City to study violin at the Juilliard School where she finished her diploma in 1939 and stayed on to do postgraduate study in violin for another six years with Edouard Dethier.

At the end of World War II, she toured Europe playing for the troops with a group from the USO. She married James Oliver Pinkston in 1946 and moved to Beirut, Lebanon, where he was Dean of the Medical School at the American University of Beirut. Concerned about growing tensions in the Middle East, they returned to the United States in 1950 and moved to Brooklyn, New York. She spent the next twenty years raising three children and playing violin in the Brooklyn Philharmonic as well as at many church and community performances.

In 1967, she returned to school and studied at Brookyn College, part of the City University of New York. She was elected Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with a B. S. in Chemistry and then went on to received a PhD in Biochemistry at the age of 57. She moved to Staunton, Virginia, in 1975, where she joined the faculty at Mary Baldwin College and taught Chemistry and Biochemistry until her retirement in 1989.

Soon after her retirement from Mary Baldwin, she picked up her violin again and joined the Charlottesville University and Community Orchestra where she played until her final retirement more than ten years later. She was one of the founding members of the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra and served as its first concertmaster. After living on Church Street in Staunton for over thirty years she spent the final three years of her life at Brightview Baldwin Park in Staunton. She died on Saturday, September 24, 2011, at 92. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. James Oliver Pinkston; and her sister, Dr. Betty Fountain Edwards Gray of Atlanta, Georgia.

She is survived by a daughter and son-in law, Betsy Pinkston and James Dungan of Staunton; a son and daughter-in-law, Russell Pinkston and Margot Booth of Austin, Texas; and a daughter and son-in-law, Lucy Pinkston Schroth and Don Schroth of Sandwich, Massachusetts; as well as her nieces, Margaret Edwards of Barnard, Vermont, and Alice Edwards Wood of Florida. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Amelia, Jesse and Samuel Dungan and Malcolm and Caroline Pinkston. A memorial service will be conducted 1 p.m. Saturday, October 8, 2011, at Covenant Presbyterian Church by the Reverend John Peterson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her honor to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2001 North Coalter Street or the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra, P.O Box 671, Waynesboro, VA 22980.

Henry Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

This obituary was originally published in the Daily Progress.

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Betsy, Russell, and Lucy,

The world quivered at the loss of such a dear, great Lady. My grandmother, Ruth Manier, and your grandmother went to Barnard at the same time, and both somehow made their way from New York to Nashville. My grandmother became enchanted with your mother when your mother was a small child, particularly since Grandma herself was somewhat of an accomplished musician herself and she, too, had spent time in Europe entertaining troops with the USO (World War...

Dear Family, Gary and I are sadden about Peggy's passing. I so enjoyed getting to know her and helping her with daily living for a few years. I considered her a dear friend. She was such a wonderful lady in so many ways. She will be missed by so many. We are travelling in the west visiting friends and family and will not be home in time to attend her funeral. I wish we could be there. Sincerely, Judy Holste

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