My father was Paul Aubrey Hinds, born October 9, 1921 in northwest Arkansas and died May 23, 1993.

 

My mother was Donna Jean Spence Hinds, born June 23, 1923 in Perry, FL. and died September 20, 2004

 

My father grew up on a 160-acre farm north of Springfield, MO. Nine years old when the Depression struck, WWII was his ticket out of a blue-collar life.  He enlisted in the navy on April 20, 1942, serving as a Pharmacists Mate (medic) until mustering out in November of 1945.

 

He used his GI Bill benefits to first go to Drury College in Springfield, where he met my mother, who worked as a medical lab tech at Burge hospital (later Cox Medical Center). My father then attended medical school in Louisville, KY., marrying my mother on June 21, 1950.

 

My mother was the daughter of schoolteachers in Florida, had gone to Newcomb College in New Orleans (the women's school associated with Tulane.) She married a naval aviator, Charles Frisbie, August 1944. He was lost in action January 1945. I don't know how she ended up in Springfield.

My parents

My father rejoined the navy to do his internship, which was why I was born in Jacksonville, FL in 1953. After his hitch, he left to go into practice in Danville, AR, where his uncle Max was the town druggist, and had helped him with school expenses. He went into practice with the existing doctor in town, but ended up feeling like he was being taken advantage of by the older doctor. After two years (and the birth of my brother, Richard) he rejoined the navy and we moved to Portsmouth, VA, where my brother, David, was born. Every two to four years after that, we would move—Cherry Point, NC; Jacksonville again; Corpus Christi, TX; and finally Agaña Heights, Guam. After serving 30 years in the Navy, he retired and moved back to his family farm north of Springfield. For the next decade he worked as a doctor in the student health clinic at SMSU (now MSU) in Springfield. He retired in 1986 to garden, clear trails on his 40 acres, and unfortunately, work on his alcoholism. He died in 1993 of a self-inflicted gunshot. This came soon after a yearly physical. To this day, I do not know if there was something serious discovered at the physical, or whether his worrying for years over the "magic 70" (his father and older brother both passed away when they were 70), primed him for becoming depressed enough to end his life.

 

For four years after he died, my mother spent her life and energy taking care of her mother, who they had moved to Springfield from Lakeland, FL after a series of hip-breaking falls. When Mama (Nellie Edith Lasher Spence) died in 1997, my mother started to go downhill. My brothers and I had hoped that this could be a sweet time of life for her, getting to travel, doing what she wanted after a lifetime of taking care of others. Instead, she began showing signs of dementia, forgetting where she put her keys, glasses, words. By 2000, she was completely aphasic. David moved back in and we brought in nursing help. She died in the home that she and Paul had built.