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1928 - 2019
United Methodist Clergy,
Children's Home President

LAKELAND - Reverend Doctor Edward L. Dinkins, Jr., age 90, died June 9, 2019, after a brief illness. He was born August 9, 1928, in Melrose, FL. He entered the US Navy during the timeframe of World War II and his Navy ship, the USS Toledo CA-133, completely circled the world. In 1948 Ed attended the Southern School of Printing in Nashville, TN, to become a linotype operator. He worked for the Valdosta Times, the Gainesville Sun, the Trueblood Printshop in Lakeland, and later the Atlanta Journal/Constitution using the skill, along with the GI Bill, to fund the completion of seven years of academic higher education.
At Florida Southern College he met and married Lakeland's Miss Patricia Ross (Patsy). He graduated from FSC and Emory University Graduate School with a Master of Divinity Degree. In 1980, Florida Southern College recognized his college and Methodist Church leadership with the Doctor of Divinity Degree.
Ed was ordained for the Methodist Church ministry in 1955, and served student pastorates at Blanton, FL, Plant City, FL, and Riverdale, GA. Florida churches served post seminary were Frostproof Methodist, Grace Methodist (Venice) and Plantation United Methodist. In 1980 he was appointed District Superintendent of the Melbourne, FL, District covering five central east coast counties.
In 1983 he was appointed President and CEO of the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in Enterprise, where he led the building and expansion of the Home's Programs over the next twelve years. He and his wife retired in 1995 to Lakeland, moving in 2005 to the Estates at Carpenters.
Everywhere Ed served he was involved in building programs and expansion. He served as a leader in numerous Florida Methodist Conference programs, including nine years as a trustee of FSC, twelve years as Associate Secretary for the Methodist Annual Conference, Chairman of the Conference Youth Committee, and many regional and national offices related to Children's Homes.
Shortly following retirement Ed started working with Habitat for Humanity, Lakeland, helping to build nearly ten houses. From 2002 - 2007, Ed served as part-time pastor for Sunset Heights United Methodist Church, Plant City. In 2005 and through his death, he was a representative of the Florida United Methodist Conference Board of Trustees responsible for Methodist church cemeteries.
Ed had an infectious smile and was known for his strong work ethic. Central to the long hours of work he gave to the Methodist church was his commitment to the advancement of programs in support of children and youth. He also enjoyed camping and traveling with family across North America. Ed was very proud of the life he shared with wife, Patsy, and their almost 67 years of marriage.
Ed is survived by his wife, Patsy, and three children: Dale Dinkins (Tammy), Manchester, TN; Linda (Scott) Searles, Palm Bay, FL; Lois (Bill) Chauncey, Portland, OR; and six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is survived by a sister, Edna Forrest, Gainesville, FL, and brothers Burrell, Wilmore, KY, Lonnie, Valdosta, GA, and Delma, Clermont, FL. He was preceded in death by grandson Cameron Mitchell, Anniston, AL, sisters Noma Jan Dinkins, Madison, FL, Pauline Dawson, Frostproof, FL, Ruth Rowan, Lakeland, FL, and brothers Horace, Winter Haven, FL, Randy, Tavares, FL, and Eugene, Dowling Park, FL.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at the First United Methodist Church, Lakeland, on Friday, June 14, 2019, at 1:00 pm. Memorials may be made to the Scholarship Fund at Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801, or to the Florida United Methodist Children's Home, 51 Children's Way, Enterprise, FL 32725.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com
Published in Ledger from June 13 to June 14, 2019
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