Erwin G. Pink – Frisco looses ‘Living Legend’

Frisco has lost the man who served as its only doctor in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr. Erwin G. Pink died in his sleep in the early morning of April 20. He and his wife, Elisabeth, came to Frisco in 1954. He replaced Dr. Billy Parnell, who was in poor health. Pink started his practice in Frisco and practiced medicine here until he retired in 1997.

“He was one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever known in my life,” said Sam Roach, longtime Frisco resident and member of the Collin County Community College board.

“He helped me and my family through so many tough times you would not believe. He was community oriented. He was always doing something for the betterment of the community,” Roach added.

Roach nominated Dr. Pink and his wife Elisabeth as Living Legends, an honor that was bestowed on the Pinks by Collin County Community College in 2004.

Dr. Pink was known for his generosity, civic mindedness, and philanthropic efforts through the years.

“He helped so many people medically, it’d be in the thousands,” said Roach. “He never turned a person away whether they could pay or not.”

Dr. Pink was a native of Wichita Falls and graduated from Wichita Falls High School. He served in the medical corps of the U.S. Navy for two years. He entered Midwestern University at Wichita Falls in 1946. He received his bachelor’s of science degree and entered Southwestern Medical School in 1949 and graduated with an M.D. degree in 1953.

He operated the Frisco Medical Clinic, eventually buying the clinic, located at the time just one block off Heritage Street near where the Frisco Community Center is now.

From the time he landed in Frisco he was active in many community groups, from the Frisco Lions Club to sponsoring a number of Little League teams over the years.

He and Bill Christie were responsible for bringing Frisco’s first major industry to Frisco. He persuaded the Gould battery recycling plant to locate in Frisco and the Frisco Railroad to donate the land to build it on. That plant is now known as Exide and at one time was Frisco’s largest employer.

Dr. Pink served on the Frisco ISD school board for 18 years. During that time and for years afterward he also served as the team doctor for the Frisco Raccoons at no charge to the school district.

According to former Frisco Mayor Bob Warren, Dr. Pink was known among Frisco High School athletes as “Painless Pink” for his ability to treat injuries quickly and painlessly and get players back in the game.

Warren said he had lost his best friend, but remembers Dr. Pink with great affection.

“He was a take-charge guy. If you gave him a job, I guarantee it would get done. He would just appoint people. They didn’t have to volunteer. He’d volunteer them. He had the ability to get people to donate time, material and money or whatever to get projects done. There won’t be anybody who will be able to fill his shoes,” said Warren.

Many people walking around Frisco today credit Dr. Pink with saving their lives. Among them is former managing editor of The Frisco Enterprise, Donna Zambiasi. “He was such a good friend,” Zambiasi said. “From a personal standpoint he saved my life. That created a special bond between us.”

Countless stories live on of Dr. Pink saving someone’s life by performing emergency surgery, offering just the right medical advice, or taking a patient to the hospital himself and then performing the surgery.

Most recently Dr. Pink was known for his efforts to preserve Frisco’s historical heritage and to get a Frisco museum built. He was one of the founders of the Heritage Association of Frisco. He was the association’s first and only president.

Architectural plans are being finalized for the museum and Heritage Park.

“He won’t see it,” Warren said, “not from this angle. He has laid the groundwork and has done a yeoman’s job in getting that thing started.”

Frisco Mayor Mike Simpson said he regretted Dr. Pink won’t be here to see the museum.

“He won’t be here in person, but he’ll be watching every move we make,” Simpson said.

On Thursday morning, Simpson addressed the Frisco Garden Club at a luncheon. Things were a bit sad as practically everyone there knew Dr. Pink or knew of him. “He’s like a perennial flower. He’ll be back every year looking down on us,” Simpson told the garden club members.

According to Roach, the Pink family will likely have a private service and a memorial service at a later date so others may pay their respects.

“I think the city has lost a real icon and a true friend of the city that will basically never be replaced. He was a one-of-a-kind guy,” sid Mayor Simpson said.

Dr. Pink’s name also is well known throughout town for being the namesake for both Pink Elementary School and Dr. Pink Field, facilities which were dedicated during the 2005-06 school year.

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