Marguerite Martin Pinkston Scholarship

The Marguerite Martin Pinkston Scholarship was established by her daughter JoAnn Pinkston Gedosh to continue her mother’s desire to help people get a start towards a better life. The scholarship is given to a second year student.

Marguerite was born to Theoda Rinn Martin and William Martin in the Hazel Dell community west of Minco, Oklahoma on July 2, 1909. She went to grade school at Hazel Dell through the ninth grade. It was at the school that she met Tommy. She often told the story about how her heart fluttered when he rode to school on a horse. In an attempt to impress her in his tight jeans and a handkerchief dangling from his back hip pocket, he would have the horse rear up. Apparently this worked and he was the only boyfriend she ever had.

Since school buses were not available, Marguerite and her cousin had a room in the Grant House on Main Street in Minco where they would live during the week days in order to go to high school. Marguerite graduated from Minco High School in 1927. She attended the Oklahoma College for Women and Central State University where she earned a lifetime teaching certificate. She taught the elementary grades in a two-room school at Lone Rock from 1931-1938.

After a 10-year courtship, Marguerite and Tommy were married on December 24, 1933. They kept the wedding a secret for two weeks because, in those days, if a female teacher married, she would be terminated from her teaching position. They each lived at home with their parents until she could finish the year. In 1934 they moved to the J.E. Perry farm near Hazel Dell where she taught for four more years while Tommy farmed. JoAnn and Bill where born on that farm.

In 1941 they moved to Union City and later their son Michael was born. At the age of 62, Marguerite was asked to teach the fifth grade at Union City. She taught three years and retired to build a new home. They were members of the First Baptist Church of Minco. Marguerite was an active member of the Canadian County Home Demonstration Club, the Minco Hobby Club and the Union City Flower Club. They had a farm sale and moved to Spanish Cove Retirement Center in Yukon in 1988.

Marguerite wore many hats as the originator of Meals on Wheels, a guardian angel, counselor, nurse, Santa Claus, clown, neighborhood social director and queen of many Rinn Reunions. All who knew her will attest to her witty sense of humor – she loved practical jokes. Once JoAnn left her white Poodle with her while she went on a trip. On her return, she no longer had a white dog, but a black dog that Marguerite and her sister Louise had dyed with hair color. While in college, she came home unannounced and saw Tommy’s car someplace she did not think it should be. When he later went to the car, he saw all four tires flat and never pondered the mystery, just said to his friend, “I see Marguerite is in town.”

Marguerite was a mother who taught by example, neither controlling nor interfering. Education was important to both Marguerite and Tommy and they would say that one of their greatest accomplishments was seeing all three children earn college degrees. She lived the Scriptures by example, not just believing, but by doing. She touched the lives of many with her spirit and zeal. She reached out to the homeless, lonely, bereaved, hungry and sick in the community.

Tommy and Marguerite were sweethearts for 61 years. After Tommy’s death in 1995, she lived at Spanish Cove until May 1997 when she moved to Fort Smith to be near JoAnn and Bill. She soon had the reputation of being a big tease. She liked going to all the parties and was ready to go every time the activity bus left the Mercy Crest premises. It had been said that Tommy would have been a rich man if Marguerite hadn’t spent it all on gasoline. Her love for people and a positive attitude are the very characteristic that helped her endure failing health.

Even when bedfast and living at JoAnn’s, she managed to bless everyone’s heart with her grace and gentle, gracious spirit. Tommy was always proud of her and thought she was the prettiest of women. Her children always felt lucky and blessed to have her for a mother. She was their inspiration. Her faith in God helped them move around in worlds that they otherwise would not have been able to navigate.

The director of nursing at Spanish Cove summed it up by saying that Marguerite had a powerful legacy as a grateful, kind, positive woman who taught others so much about coping with life and aging.

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