Don Hinkle, longtime Routt County rancher, passed away Feb. 23, 2009, at Yampa Valley Medical Center. He was 86.
Don was born in August of 1922 to Scott and Hattie (Darling) Hinkle on their ranch near Phippsburg. He graduated from Yampa Union High School. He was a 4-H member and later a 4-H leader and 4-H award donor.
Don married Geraldine Long on Sept. 30, 1943, in Steamboat Springs. ln 1945, after serving in the armed forces, Don and Geraldine returned to Routt County where they leased Geraldine's parent's ranch in Foidel Canyon and later purchased it and several other parcels of land. In 1979, the Hinkles moved to a ranch near Yampa. In addition to ranching, Don worked from 1962 to 1981 for Energy Fuels as an overburden driller.
Don served on the school board for the Foidel Canyon School and later for the Soroco School District. Don was a member of the Yellow Jacket Roping Club and enjoyed the small roping jackpots that the club held. Don and Gerry enjoyed riding horseback into the Lost Lakes. They also spent time camping in Browns Park throughout the years. Don enjoyed trading horses and always made sure his daughters and wife each had a good horse to ride.
Don is survived by his wife of 65 years, Geraldine; brother, Scott Hinkle, of Modesto, Calif.; daughters Lydia (Vaughn) Hockaday, of Hayden, Marieta Kay Nelson, of Yampa, and Becky (Dale) Appel, of Steamboat Springs; grandchildren Bobby George, Tony George (Wendy), Shawn (Leslie) Hockaday, Jay Dee (Kristen) Hockaday, Amy Appel and Amber (Scott) Gregory.
He was pleased that he had 12 great-grandchildren: Madison, Morgan, Kaitlin, Jaden, Tierney, Whitney and Layne George; Tyler, Joseph, Haley and Dalton Hockaday; and Cecilia Gregory.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Kenneth, Jimmie and Marieta; one grandson, Doug George; and one great-grandson, Jace George.
Graveside services were held at the Oak Creek Cemetery on Feb. 28.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, in care of Yampa Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 776090, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.