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Columbia Missourian

William Pingelton served country, worked as OB-GYN

By Ashley Crawford
December 6, 2012 | 1:32 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — William B. Pingelton of Columbia died Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. He was 88. 


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Dr. Pingelton was born June 27, 1924, in West Columbia, Texas.

He was married to Carolyn "Kay" Rentschler for 32 years.

At 16, he lied about his age in order to join the U.S. Air Force. 

During his service, Dr. Pingelton found out that a new plane had been delivered to his base. The plane was scheduled to be started for the first time at 5 a.m., but he started it himself at 2 a.m. and became the first solider to start the B-24 bomber. 

After World War II, he received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He went to medical school at Northwestern University.

Dr. Pingelton started his residency in Little Rock, Ark., and finished it at Louisville General Hospital in Louisville, Ky.

In 1957, he moved to Columbia and taught at the University of Missouri Medical Center for a year, then opened his private OB-GYN practice the next year. Dr. Pingelton retired from obstetrics in 1987 and from his gynecological practice in 1995.

He mentored students at MU after retirement, and he and his wife took several mission trips with their church, Little Bonne Femme Baptist Church. 

His former wife, Virginia Pingelton, died earlier.

Dr. Pingelton is survived by his wife, Kay Pingelton; four children with his former wife — Dan Pingelton, Nancy Pingelton, Karen Pingelton, and Tim Pingelton and his wife, Sophie; two stepchildren, James Durk and Brenda Broxton and her husband, Ron; three grandchildren, Hannah Pingelton, Eddie Pingelton and Margaret Pingelton; and three stepgrandchildren, Shelby Scroggins, Jacob Watson and Katelin Watson.

Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Little Bonne Femme Baptist Church, 5350 E. Bonne Femme Church Road.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Friends of the Daniel Boone Regional Library, 100 W. Broadway, P.O. Box 1267, Columbia, MO 65205,  or to the McCambridge Center, 201 N. Garth Ave., Columbia, MO 65203.