Gerry Hinkle, lifelong resident of Routt County, passed away Aug. 4, 2011, at Doak Walker Care Center after a brief illness. She was 89.
Gerry was born Aug. 14, 1921, to Joseph and Lydia (Durbin) Long in Steamboat Springs. She was the youngest of 12 children. Her parents named her Dorothy Geraldine, but for some reason she was called Gerry or Geraldine. She grew up on the ranch in Foidl Canyon that her parents had homesteaded in 1912. She graduated from Steamboat Springs High School. She went on to complete training to be a lab tech and worked for Dr. Lindel in Oak Creek.
Gerry married Don Hinkle in Steamboat Springs on Sept. 30, 1943. After Don was finished serving in the armed forces, Don and Gerry leased Gerry’s parents’ ranch in Foidl Canyon and later purchased it and several other parcels of land. In 1979, Don and Gerry moved to a ranch near Yampa.
Gerry shared the work on their ranch. She was the “baler woman” and baled tons and tons of hay during their ranch life. She fixed fences, helped calve and gathered and moved cattle. Her great-grandchildren still are riding her last horse.
Don and Gerry enjoyed riding horseback into the Lost Lakes and enjoyed camping in the Browns Park area. During winter, Gerry enjoyed doing ceramics. Gerry never could drive by a yard sale without stopping, and she always found lots of bargains.
Don passed away in February 2009. They had been married 65 years. In June 2010, Gerry moved into the Doak Walker Care Center. The caregivers there enjoyed Gerry’s smile.
Gerry is survived by three daughters, Lydia (Vaughn) Hockaday, of Hayden, Marieta Nelson, of Yampa, and Becky (Dale) Appel, of Steamboat Springs; six grandchildren, Bobby George, Tony (Wendy) George, Shawn (Leslie) Hockaday, Jay Dee (Kristen) Hockaday, Amy (Tim) Frentress and Amber (Scott) Gregory; 15 great-grandchildren and one more on the way, Madison, Morgan, Kaitlin, Jaden, Tierney, Whitney and Layne George; Tyler, Joseph, Emily, Haley and Dalton Hockaday; Cecelia and Cavit Gregory; and Brody Frentress.
Gerry was preceded in death by her parents; 11 siblings; one grandson, Doug George; and one great-grandson, Jace George.
A graveside service was held Aug. 9, 2011, in Oak Creek Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Doak Walker Care Center’s Activities Program in care of the Yampa Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 776090, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.