Vivian C. (Yunk) Hinkley

EVART — Vivian C. (Yunk) Hinkley was born on the auspicious date of 2/20/22 along the bluffs of northern Lake Michigan in Arcadia.

On 2/20/12, her husband, sons and grandchildren gathered to her side to celebrate her 90th birthday with cake, song and love.

She died on March 9, 2012.

Vivian and her sister Adelle were the only children of William and Eva Yunk. Their father was a mirror smith for the Arcadia Furniture Factory in an idyllic Germanic community that would draw her heart for the entirety of her life. Upon graduation from Arcadia High School in 1940, she studied nursing at Grace Hospital in Detroit and became an Registered Nurse in 1943. Soon there after, she joined the Army Nurse’s Reserve, serving as Second Lieutenant in the Pacific theatre; in Hawaii and, after the surrender of Japan, outside of Okinawa.

After the war, in 1947, she married Ralph K. Hinkley, a young pharmacist, and they lived in Traverse City. Later, they moved to Ralph’s hometown of Evart and began Hinkley Drugs, a mainstay on Evart’s Main Street for a half century.

She loved her kids. Although she was unabashedly a champion of her own family, she found joy in the successes of every child she came to know in a tight knit community, reveling in their successes and mourning deeply their troubles or losses.

Throughout her life, she led troupes of girl scouts, 4H, the Luther League and organized Evart’s first chapter of the Junior Audubon Society. She was an active congregant of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Evart and served a guild member for many years.

As an Evart sport’s booster, she never missed a football, basketball, baseball or soccer game in which one of her kids or grandkids were playing, and — to her credit — her passion in following Evart teams did not diminish after her offspring had left the area.

As a registered nurse, Vivian worked for the Evart Products, Dr. Jacob Bruggema and local nursing facilities. She was the first chairman of the Osceola County Dental Clinic as well as assisted in Evart’s first polio clinic in 1952.

She was an avid reader, possessed a marvel of the stars and planets in the night skies and appreciated the moments of beautiful sunrises and sunsets, thunderstorms, morel mushrooms and herds of whitetail in late winter. Through this, she exposed her children to the mysteries and miracles of nature, inspiring their own professional and personal pursuits.

She made the best German potato salad, ever …

Viv is survived by: her husband of 65 years, Ralph K. Hinkley; three sons, William Kirk (Jill Hinkley) of Wenatchee, Wash., Daniel Hinkley (Robert Jones) of Indianola, Wash., and Terry (Maggie Hinkley) of Juneau, Alaska; sister, Adelle Keillor of Frankfort; five grandsons, Adam (Oregon) and Noah (North Carolina) Gregory, Kyle and Kasey Hinkley (Washington) and Christopher Hinkley (Colorado); and many cherished cousins, nephews and nieces.

She was preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Amy J. Gregory; and her only granddaughter, Erin Gregory.

A memorial will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Evart. The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to the Amy Hinkley Gregory Scholarship, Osecola County Community Foundation, PO Box 37, Reed City, MI 49677.