Dr. Homer Virgil Pinkley of Eldorado was called home Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, at the age of 84, after a long struggle with heart and kidney disease.
He was born Nov. 16, 1938, in Detroit, Mich.
He was a true scholar and attended Wayne State University in Michigan, Washington University in St. Louis, and Harvard University in Boston, from which he received a Ph.D. in ethnobotany.
Homer is listed in the publications Famous Scientists and Famous Botanists. He did plant research while living with the Ottawa Tribe of the Great Lakes and the Kofan Indians at the head waters of the Amazon, identifying plants they used for various purposes, especially tribal medicine.
Among his discoveries were additives to ayahuasca, a South American hallucinogenic, which increased the potency of the tea. Some of his discoveries have been used in anesthesia and according to recent studies may have therapeutic uses for Parkinson's disease, substance abuse disorders, depression, anxiety and PTSD. A number of his botanical specimens are housed at Harvard and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
In later years he was known for his interest in and expertise on historical Americana including silverplate and textiles (quilts, hooked rugs, elegant linens and lace). He continued to lecture until a month before his passing. Most recently he was involved in supplying textiles to famed fashion designer Emily Bode, who turned his textiles into high fashion, and put them on runways in New York, Paris, etc.
This kind man will be sadly missed and joyfully remembered by family and friends around the world.
At his direction, his body was donated to science so that he could continue to be of benefit to mankind.
A celebration of life was held Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Town and Country Building in Eldorado. Scholarship donations can be made to Eldorado High School Foundation, The Pinkley Scholarship C/O Rachel Anderson, 2200 Illinois Avenue, Eldorado, IL 62930. We thank you for your generosity and support of Dr. Pinkley and look forward to keeping his legacy alive through this scholarship.