Thomas Varian Hinkle, MD was born December 23rd, 1927 in Houston to Joseph Varian Hinkle and Fay Irene McCaleb Hinkle. He returned to his Lord on January 6th, 2021 after a brief and sudden illness.
He was preceeded in death by his parents, his sister Alma Jean Hinkle Haynes, Brother James Donald Hinkle, MD and his wife Geraldine (Jerry) Pillow Hinkle.
Thomas is survived by his sons James Varian Hinkle and Marcus Eric Hinkle, MD (Wanda Gail) of Brazoria, grandsons Justin Taylor Hinkle (Lauren) of Lake Jackson, Casey Lee Turner (Ashley) of Hampton, Arkansas, granddaughter Florence A. Hinkle of North Carolina, Bethanie G. Nicar of Brazoria and five great grandchildren.
Thomas spent his early childhood at Hinkle's Ferry, living on the family farm.
He experienced a very asuteer life and began work at the age of six years catching and selling shrimp from the San Bernard to his grandfather's store at the ferry.
He attended the one room Hinkle school located on his family farm (now relocated to Brazoria) where he began his love of reading and study, often reading late into the night , until a june bug would fly into the mantle of his lantern.
Later his family moved to Freeport where he attended school and met his life long best friend, Jimmy Allan. Thomas was blessed to meet his other good friends including Hoyt Broadway, Kenneth and Joe Lahay Williams. In grade school he worked changing oil on big trucks, running the movie projector at the theater, then in high school earning a living as a carpenter's helper in Old Ocean and a barrel painter for DOW chemical.
After competing high school, Thomas joined the 82nd airborne division with four other local young men including Bobby Payne. Thomas made numerous jumps, qualified as expert with the M1 operated the recoiless rifle.
When on leave he used his car to run a taxi service to the GIs stationed at Fort Bragg.
Following his discharge from the US Army, Thomas returned to Freeport working as a laborer former at DOW. He continued to read and improve himself.
In Freeport he met his future wife, Geraldine (Jerry) Patricia Pillow who had come from her family farm in Harmony Texas, (just south of Caldwell) after the war to work as a telephone operator. After Thomas and Jerry were married he attended the University of Houston and worked as bus driver.
Later he attended The University of Texas at Austin where he worked as a chemistry tutor, later receiving his BS in zoology.
Matriculating into The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston Tom worked in vitamin C research and earned his medical degree. Traveling to the canal zone in Panama. Thomas completed his internship at Gorgas Hospital. While in Panama he treated malaria patients and was one of the few physicians who would go to the leper colony to serve the lepers.
Returning to Freeport, Thomas began his medical and surgical practice at the Dow Hospital where he installed one of the first hospital based two way radio systems.
In Freeport he pursued his second love, flying airplanes. He flew Eddy Dyer’s J3 cub along with WA Jones.
Desiring more expertise, Thomas took his family to Wheeling, Illinois where he began a residency in radiology. He continue to read and worked additional part time jobs to support his family, often only making it home twice per month. Returning to Gorgas hospital for a year and a half he purchased a Navion airplane from the US army. Later Thomas took his family and returned to Chicago where his residency was completed.
Traveling back to Texas landed a job in Beaumont, later starting his on radiology practice where he incorporated one of the first free standing nuclear medicine laboratories and imaging services. Later he expanded to Doctor's Hospital in Groves.
Thomas' wife Jerry passed away in 2005. Later he built a house on the family farm at Hinkle's Ferry, and in his mid- eighties, Thomas retired from practicing medicine to continue flying, reading and traveling. Throughout his life, Thomas enjoyed working, reading, and studying the US constitution and American history and economics. He arrived at the truth our Republic is unique and must renew continually.
He was of America's greatest generation, attesting to the fact, with perseverance, education and purposeful labor and thrift, anyone in our nation has within their reach any degree of success in their life if they will simply act.
Thomas and Jerry were devout supporters of liberty, individual freedom and the God given right of all of us to pursue our life's dreams and goals without interference from governments, small or large. Tom and Jerry helped lighten the burden of many of our fellow men and women along their way.
In the last years, Thomas especially enjoyed attending the First Baptist church of Brazoria and his very special and great friend Vera Foster who's company he enjoyed until the end.
Tom last flew an airplane a few months ago, it became too great a challenge to climb up and get into the plane, partly due to fact he had previously broken both hips.
Thomas Varian Hinkle, MD loved and enjoyed his family and friends. He pleaded with anyone who'd listen for all of us to learn what liberty is about and to study the constitution, our history and defend our republic and avoid the tragedy of socialist and communist fallacies. "It's now or never," he used to say.
Active pallbearers will be Justin Hinkle, Casey Turner, Randall Griffin, Roger Lackey, Donald Williams and Harold Hinkle.
Family will receive friends on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Frist Baptist Church of Brazoria in Brazoria with services starting at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Greg Smith officiating. Burial will follow at Brazoria Cemetery in Brazoria, Texas.
Due to the COVID-19 Virus, everyone must wear a mask and practice social distancing.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to The Salvation Army, 1618 N. Ave J, Freeport, TX 77541 and Ron Paul Institute For Peace And Prosperity, 833 W. Plantation Drive, Clute, TX 77531.
Final arrangements entrusted to Dixon Funeral Home of Brazoria at (979) 798-9113.
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