Tuesday, 19 January 2021

"Pinky" Cantrell - The best friend Lucerne ever had

A sense of sadness permeates our little town. We knew what was coming, yet you keep thinking, "He's too good a man, husband, father, friend." There had to be a miracle somewhere amongst the reality that the end was approaching. The Best Neighbor Lucerne ever had left us on March 13. He put up a good fight but a Higher Power must have needed him more than us. Pinky Cantrell truly was a hero to the folks Northshore.
 
Pinky was always quick with a smile. But he was quicker to offer a helping hand when he saw a need that needed filling. There were plenty of "needs" in Lucerne. He volunteered at the fire house for 36 years. Any attempts at paying him for a service rendered quickly found its way into the donation jar. He served as Deputy Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief and was Captain of Rescue and EMT. He volunteered at the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center for many, many years, doing whatever job needed doing, especially helping with commodities day. All anyone had to do was ask.
 
Pinky and his wife Alyce were amongst the founders of the Citizens Patrol and Neighborhood Watch. I always felt safer when I'd look out and there they went, patrolling our streets, helping to keep us safe and sound. Pinky maintained his contacts with the Sheriff's Department, Caltrans and California Highway Patrol. His drive to serve never diminished.
 
His love of our mountains was manifested by physical labor. How many trees did he help plant in our National Forest? Who knows, we can't see the forest for the trees he planted, but you can go enjoy the Pinky Cantrell Grove in the Mendocino National Forest. He'd like that.
 
Even with his own troubles he always made sure to ask how you were doing with yours. When he asked, it wasn't just a polite question, he really wanted to know because he truly cared. When he went to the Lakeport Skilled Nursing Center in Lakeport for his final leg of this journey many of the staff there finally had a chance to repay the kindness and service they had received from him during the course of their lives. Pinky's family is so grateful for the wonderful care he received there, they did treat him like the family member he had become to them.
 
Alfred "Pinky" Dexter Cantrell got his start in this life on July 22, 1935 in Everton Missouri to Dollie L. Calloway Cantrell and John S. Cantrell. Siblings include John H. Cantrell of Ash Grove, MoO; Lloyd R. Cantrell, deceased; Marguerite Langsdon of Springfield, Mo; Lucille Hutchison of Lubbock, Texas, and Easter Lenger of Mt. Vernon, Mo.

Pinky graduated from Ash Grove High School in 1953. He served his nation as a Marine from 1953 to 1957, serving in the Korean War. He married Minnie Jean Ball Egbert in 1957 and daughter Brenda Lee was born in 1958. Pinky moved to Lucerne in 1968 and worked as a butcher at Lakeview Market for Art Burry. He married Alyce Thedorf in 1992, loving her and her children and grandchildren. He retired from Caltrans in 1997.
 
The Lucerne Fire House will hold a celebration of the wonderful life of our friend and neighbor in about a month, we will keep you posted. No tears allowed.

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