Ken Hinkley (The Hink) left the party on January 28, 2021.
The Hink, as many of you knew him, was Judy’s best friend. He loved, honored and cherished her always – so cliché but sincerely true. He believed in never letting a day pass without making her laugh. They met in the ninth grade when he took her by surprise asking for help sneaking into the circus. That moment turned into a sixty plus year adventure. Happy memories of his love for sunsets, comedy, pranks, and his Elvis performances transcend the generations of our family.
Ken was always at home in Massachusetts whether it was his beloved Holyoke, Williamsburg, or lastly South Hadley before relocating to spend his final years in North Carolina. He started his schooling and athletic years in Holyoke before his father’s business took the family to Mt. Olive, Illinois. He graduated from Mt. Olive High School with the class of 1959 where he was an Illinois All State football player. After being widely recruited Ken accepted a football scholarship at the University of Missouri, Columbia where he lettered under legendary Coach Dan Devine. Some in Mt. Olive would say his claim to fame was coaching the Khoury League baseball team to a near championship. Aware of his bigger than life football career Ken’s grandson, George, would frequently remind him to “Be athletic!” as he battled in the biggest game of his life, cancer. Once again, The Hink was a standout as he ran the field and overcame the obstacles. Sadly, cancer achieved the final tackle.
A man of many, some say magical, talents Ken successfully wore many hats in his career. Starting as a beloved delivery boy for Droste’s Market he spent more time with the customers than at the store. He enjoyed people and had the gift of gab that later translated into a successful insurance sales career. After winning a bet with a friend his entrepreneurial instincts and pioneering spirt lead him to create The Original Chimney Sweep Company growing into the New England School of Chimney Sweep, the first such school legitimately accredited by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When the state initially rejected his accreditation application because, “An education B.A. was required,” Ken quickly eliminated the roadblock. After all what does a college football player study? Yes, he completed his B.A. Physical Education at the University of Missouri. Diploma produced, problem solved. After watching his first two daughters wed in the early 80s without a decent video, Ken said, “I can do this!” His enterprising instincts kicked in and “A Good Time Video Productions” was born. Of his numerous video production experiences he was most honored to have produced the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Commencement Ceremony video for 5 consecutive years.
God broke the mold when Ken was born to Everett David Hinkley and Julina Margaret Nolan on August 15, 1940 in North Adams, MA. Ken is survived by his wife of 61 years, Judith Ann Becker and children - Linda (Bill) Eno, of Garrison, MN, Tere (Jim) Freiberger of Mocksville, NC, Becky (Darren) Brown of St. Louis, MO and Patricia (Steve) Trombley of Blaine, MN. Ken is also survived by his 8 grandchildren – Erin (Tom) Winters , Greg (Kaisa) Eno, Lauren Eno, Mark (Janaye) Eno, Lucy (Colby) Kirk, George Freiberger, Mackenzie (Kyle) Lewis, Phillips Brown, as well as his 11 great grandchildren – Johnny, William, James, Sylvia, Anders, Mabel, Matilda, Emma, Brooks, Eloise “Happy Pill,” and Maggie. He is also survived by his three brothers David (Chris) Hinkley, Bob (Marilyn) Hinkley, and Ed (Shelley) Becker, as well as sister Jane Becker; and many more nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Love, Laughter, & The Legend will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 3, 2021 at the Mt. Olive Turner Hall. Followed by an open house and lunch until 4:00 p.m. Father Thomas Hagstrom will officiate. Mask and social distancing required.
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