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10/28/12 — Thomas “Bill” Tinkler

Mr. Thomas “Bill” Tinkler, age 84, of Tullahoma, TN., passed away Saturday, October 27, 2012, at The Health Care Center at Adams Place in Murfreesboro, TN.

A resident of Annapolis, MD, for 38 years, he has lived in Tullahoma, for the last six years.

Bill was a native of St. Francisville, LA, and worked on a tug boat on the Mississippi River before joining the Army Air Corps after WWII. His love for aviation was evident from his early years, learning to fly from a Women’s Army Service Pilot (WASP) at the age of 16 and going on to have a successful career with United Air Lines. He was the recipient of the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of accident free flying. While in his forties, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. However, through perserverance and a positive attitude, he continued to fly with United Air Lines as the first commercial pilot with a MS diagnosis. He retired from United Air Lines in 1982, but continued to fly privately in his own aircraft for many years afterward.

Bill was preceded in death by his first wife of 50 years, Christine, and his sister, Claire Pegeen.

He is survived by his wife Sharon; his brother John; and his children William, Walter, and Katherine; his grandchildren Micah, Ruth, and Michelle; his great-grandchildren Dakota and Avery; and his stepson Zach.

A Gone West Celebration will be conducted Sunday at 1:00 PM in the North Hanger at the Tullahoma Airport. The family will receive family and friends following the Celebration.

Tullahoma Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Bill Tinkler.