A longtime figure in Smith County and an East Texas philanthropist has died. Smith County Commissioner Don Pinkerton died Saturday evening. County officials said Don died in his sleep. Friends said he suffered a heart attack. They said they did not know he suffered from any health problems.
Don Pinkerton was elected as Smith County Precinct 2 Commissioner in 2002. He was 57 years old and had served as a Tyler city councilman for 3 terms. He served as a Smith County Deputy Sheriff reserve for 23 years, owned a construction business and worked with a number of charities and organizations in town.
Those who worked along side him said Don never wanted to let down those he served. "It was a pleasure to have known Don Pinkerton," said former Tyler City Councilman Gus Ramirez. "To know what he thought. He was a philanthropist but above all he was a good husband and a good father. He will missed. He will be missed by me and my family and this community. He didn't politic too much, he just did it what was best for the entire community." Smith County Commissioners Court will still be held Monday morning. However, a workshop has been cancelled. Funeral services for Don Pinkerton are pending.
County officials told KLTV the family has asked that in instead of flowers, donations be made to the Salvation Army and Hospice of East Texas. They said those organization were very dear to Don.