Donald (Donnie) Vern Tinker, Born March 19, 1953, in Chattanooga, Tennessee suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in an accident on July 7, 2022, doing what he loved to do, riding his Vespa on the way to the movies after buying a ticket to the Cheney Rodeo. He was hit and killed instantly. He did not suffer and for that we are thankful.
How do you sum up a man who was full of stories, always had holiday cheer, offered assistance whenever possible, and was overall someone who purely cherished and cared for all he knew and loved? How would he do it? With a run-on story of course. With some shockingly interesting, but inaccurate Eddie the Estimator discussion points. And maybe ask you multiple times if you like Popeyes to see if you’ll take him there instead of where you suggested. He was a man who loved his family, his golden retrievers, camping, fishing, science fiction, reading, playing cards (specifically Phase 10), karaoke, and visiting with friends.
But long story short, as Don always used to tell us, he was an American hero, served in the United States Air Force and Air Guard for a total of 33 years, and after retirement continued to serve through SERE Survival School where he taught many students to persevere and overcome. He loved his troops and treated them like family. He always loved to learn and went back to school during retirement, receiving his bachelor’s from EWU. He was a man of incredible integrity. Someone who without a doubt would always be there to lend a helping hand. But most importantly, he was an incredible family man. A rock for his wife. A guide for his children. Support for any and all family he had, both old and new.
Don was a husband of 31 years, father, brother, and a cherished family member to many more. Don is survived by his wife Devon Tinker, daughter Dr. Lindy Tinker (Cameron), son Tad Tinker, and brothers Ron (Melissa), Mike (Marie), and Tim (Kristy). He joins in heaven his mother Ruby, previous wife Wilma, and daughter Amanda.
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RIP Don. He was quite a guy.