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The Passing of Lothar Pinkers

Community service is his life and he lived it well.

After years of service to his community, his friends and family Dr. Lothar H. Pinkers died quietly in his home on July 4, 2017 at the age of 85. Lothar was born in St. Louis, MO. He was the only son of Lothar F. Pinkus and Alma A. Hermann, later Margaret Lippman. He graduated from Kirkwood High School and Washington University then medical school at Washington University.

To see Lothar only through his career as a doctor is too narrow a vision. He never saw a problem he couldn’t fix or opportunity that he didn’t pick up. He wore the additional hats of a square dance caller, a teacher, scout leader, law maker, equestrian, builder, landscaper, printer, handyman, practical joker, counselor, husband and much beloved father. We accept the opportunity to honor him with this tribute.

The first dream he carried was to have a community where he could make a difference. Dr. Pinkers is one of the founding doctors of Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, WA. After responding to a vehicle accident near his home and finding that ambulance drivers did not need medical training Dr. Pinkers knew we could do better. In the 1960’s he served as the physician for the City of Bellevue. He opened his private practice in Bellevue, WA in 1962 and began a journey that saw him work to bring emergency medicine to the state, write and teach the first EMT curriculum at the Bellevue Community College, and help design legislation to support and create trauma and emergency medical services standards. His goal, “the best care anywhere.” He went on to Chair numerous state and King County committees on emergency medicine. In Olympia he volunteered as Physician-for-a-Day in the Legislative Health Clinic each session. At Overlake Hospital Medical Center Dr. Pinkers set up the first call system for doctors, helped to form the first intensive-care unit, worked on two remodels of the emergency department and served as the chief of staff, chief of surgery, a board trustee and chairman of the hospital’s building committee for the construction of the East and West wings.

Lothar was a lifelong member of the Boy Scouts. After his own adventures as a scout he became Cub Scout Master and started a Boy Scout troop in Bellevue as his son advanced through the program. He combined his love of medicine and scouting by volunteering as camp doctor and scheduling doctors for local scout camps for 15+ years. He was a member of the T’Kobe Kwiskwis lodge for the Order of the Arrow. After years of service to scouting he was awarded the Silver Beaver award for distinguished service to Chief Seattle Council of scouts.

Never one to sit still for long, in the 1990’s Lothar began horse riding lessons and joined the Lake Washington Saddle Club. As a club member he ran horse shows and again saw opportunity to do better. As President of the Horse Foundation of Washington and a Director and Board member for Equestrians Institute he jumped in to help craft legislation to support equine industries in Washington. As he pursued his passion for riding he took lessons in dressage and joined the Board of Dressage NW. In 2006 Lothar and his horse made a centennial ride when the age of the horse and rider equal 100. Continuing his adventures in the equestrian world Lothar became a technical delegate for the American Horse Show Association and worked to make sure dressage events are conducted properly, safely and protected the best interest of the horses. After joining the efforts of so many hard working volunteers in 2010 The Washington State Horse Park opened in Cle Elum, Washington marking the culmination of so many dreams.

Lothar married Caroline Jane Nichols, the “love of his life”, and ever his partner in all adventures, in 1954 and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary shortly before her death in 2014. He is survived by his four children Art (Margie), Beth, Christie Hammond (Jerry) and Diane (Bill), four grandchildren Kael, Rowan Illum (Jared), Jon and Virginia, and one great-granddaughter Lila.

Those are the facts and there is so much more.

Lothar asked that no funeral be held. The family will be planning a celebration in his honor. Donations may be made in Lothar’s name at the Washington State Horse Park http://www.wahorsepark.org/p/getinvolved/284 or Dressage NW http://dressagenorthwest.org/.

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