Garry Pinkston


Mr. Garry Pinkston went to be with our Lord on Nov. 11, 2023. He was born on Dec. 5, 1953, in Concord, N.C. Garry was the son of the late Olen and Mary Lee (Pinion) Pinkston. 

He is survived by his brother, Roger Pinkston, and his wife, Andrea, of Stafford, Va.; his sisters, Sandy Bowden and her husband, Jimmy, of Assawoman, Diane Massey and her husband, Jamie, of Greenbackville, and Debbie Cherrix and her husband, Jake, of Chincoteague; his nephews, Jamie Bowden (Erin), Jimmy Bowden Jr. (Debbie), and William Herold; his nieces, Pamela Brinza (Nick), Lauren Linkous (Ryan), Denise Godwin, and Marcia Lewis (Bryan); and several great-nieces, great-nephews, and cousins.

Garry was predeceased by his mother and father; sister, Kathy Brett; and nephew, Aaron Herold.

Garry worked for the Southland Corporation in Fredericksburg for over 20 years as a tote washer operator and drove a forklift.  He moved to Chincoteague in the early 90s, where he worked for a short time driving an 18-wheeler. He later worked for the Town of Chincoteague for several years before retiring.

He served as Fredericksburg’s Santa for many years, greeting children in the Spotsylvania Mall, in the town Throne Room, and riding on the fire truck in the annual Christmas parade. He often told stories of how he listened to the children’s special requests and would even write personal letters to some of the special kids who touched his heart. Of course, he also made personal visits to family and friends to share the magic of Christmas.

Garry loved volunteering at the drink stand with Joe Ruffing, Ricky Betts, and Ronnie Malone at the annual Chincoteague Fireman’s Carnival. He was always faithful in making sure he was there in plenty of time to fill the ice chests and get the stand open and running.

His love and respect for the military was strong. He often spoke of the men and women who served our country and how they should be respected … always thanking them for their service and sacrifice. Those coming on the Island would often see him in his red, white, and blue helmet, holding the American flag and a sign that read “Thank You Veterans and God Bless You.” It is very fitting that he passed away on Veterans Day.

Garry also volunteered for the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce with Evelyn Shotwell and Joanne Moore. He always looked forward to parking the cars at the annual Oyster Festival and Seafood Festival. When he had finished parking cars, he would grab his veteran sign and walk around the campground.

Garry was a hard worker with a huge heart. He would do anything for anyone and loved making people laugh. He will be missed.

Funeral services will be held Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, at 2 p.m. at Union Baptist Church on Chincoteague Island, with the Rev. Eley officiating. There will be a viewing one hour prior.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 691, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336.
Online condolences can be given at

Services were entrusted to Salyer Funeral Home, Inc.

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