Donald Gene Dinkins

Donald Gene Dinkins of Ironton passed away at his home on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. He was 74.

He was born on March 6, 1944 in Ironton, a son of the late Albert Ray and Mary Louise Slusher Dinkins

On June 20, 1970, Don was united in marriage to his loving wife, Diane Laverne Pehle Dinkins, who survives.

To this union two children were born, Deborah Akins of St. Louis, and Dana (Jack) Windes of St. Clair.

Surviving Don is one brother, Gerald and wife Lynn Dinkins of Annapolis; two sisters, Uyvonne and husband Thomas Huddleston of Farmington, Donna and husband Garry West of Fredericktown; five grandchildren, Caleb, Emmi, Joshua, and Skyler Windes, Makenzie Akins; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

Preceding him in death were his parents; a brother, Clyde Dinkins; and a sister, Doris Dinkins, who passed away in early childhood.

Don was a 1962 graduate of Fredericktown High School. Following graduation he enlisted in the United States Army National Guard completing basic training at Fort Ord, CA.

For the next seven years he pursued his passion of drag racing. In 1966 he won the “World Championship” in his class, racing his 1965 Z-16 Chevelle at Green Valley Raceway in Dallas, TX.

Don had many vocations throughout his lifetime, including working  construct-ion, working as a mechanic and auto body repair, operating two full service Gulf Stations in St. Louis for several years, teaching auto body repair at the A.V. Career Tech, operating a nationwide over-the-road trucking business, and driving for Politte Ready Mix in Arcadia. After retirement at 62, he started his excavation and hauling business that he continued to operate until February 2018.

He was a member of the Lesterville Flywheelers Jeep Club and participated in off-road drag racing during the 70s and 80s. In 1982 Don and Joe Barker opened the Arcadia Valley Drag Strip on Marble Creek.

Don was also a member of the 300 Club at Pilot Knob Bowl, the Arcadia Valley Country Club, and SEMO Seniors Golf of Southeast Missouri.

For the last several years, Don’s hobbies have included racing at the Bonne Terre Race Track, playing golf, restoring classic automobiles, and spending time with his family.

Don was a life-long member of his family church, the Happy Zion General Baptist Church of Annapolis. He and his wife attended the The First Baptist Church of Iron Mountain.

Visitation for Don will be held on Friday, July 20, 2018, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cole Family Funeral Home in Ironton.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 11 a.m. at The First Baptist Church of Iron Mountain with Pastor John Canterbury officiating.

Memorials may be made to Camp Hope in Farmington.

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