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James Wyllie Hinton

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James Wyllie Hinton
August 8, 1940 ~ July 30, 2008

Carmel – James Wyllie Hinton, age 67, surrounded by his family, died peacefully at home after a long battle with lung cancer.
Jim, a California native, grew up in Beverly Hills, CA. He shared the camaraderie of a group of young men at the local YMCA, who, while in junior high school, became close knit and formed lasting friendships. Initially, they called themselves the Banshees, but as the group expanded in high school, they would become known as the Saracens. These men still meet once a year. Following high school, Jim joined the Air Force and served for five years as a radio intercept analyst. He was stationed both in the Philippine Islands and Germany. After his release from service, Jim attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he intended to study to become a printer. It was there, in a piano class, that he met his soul mate and future wife Bette. They were married in Ballard, CA on June 25, 1966. Jim then changed majors and, following his true love of literature, transferred to Cal State Northridge to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He continued his education at UCLA, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in English. Jim would then become an English professor for the next 34 years.
Jim took his first teaching position at Triton College, located in River Grove, Illinois. He taught there from 1969-1972. In 1972, Jim moved his family to the Monterey Peninsula, having accepted a teaching position in the Humanities Division at Monterey Peninsula College. While teaching at MPC, Jim served numerous years on the Academic Senate and served as President of the Senate from 1977-1978. During his tenure he also chaired the Humanities Division from 1982-1985, and for one more year in 1988. Jim had an amazing range of interests, the result of a fully generous, inquisitive, creative nature and mind. He was not only years ahead of everyone else with regard to computers-a genuine "pioneer" who developed MPC's first Computer Assisted Writing Lab-but someone who recognized the importance of Science Fiction as literature and also developed a course in the Bible as Literature. As a professor he was not just admired and respected but loved by staff, colleagues and students. He retired from teaching in 2004.
Jim loved to travel with family and friends and over the past ten years had the opportunity to visit England, Scotland, France, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Mexico, Alaska, and the Southwest. A favorite place he visited often was Hawaii. Always the avid scholar, he thoroughly researched the history, culture, and literature of the place of his next adventure. Reading, playing the piano, listening to music, daily Suduko, grandkids, family and friends were the highlights of his life. He had an extraordinary, wide, warm, wonderful smile: one that could brighten up any room the moment he entered it, would enliven any setting and make everyone present feel as upbeat as he always seemed to be (no matter what!). Jim's smile reflected a warm, continually kind, compassionate nature, and, as it would prove, an indomitable spirit. A big man, Jim had a heart as large as he was. He was truly a "gentle giant" capable of generous, big bear hugs. Those alert, bright ALWAYS friendly eyes and hearty laughter will be missed by all the lives he touched.
Jim is survived by Bette Hinton, his wife of 42 years; daughter, Jennifer Hinton; son, Gregory Hinton; granddaughters, Gabriele Mia Hinton and Gwyneth Rosebud Hinton; aunt, Rose Wollinger, sister-in-law, Phyllis Putnam; nephew, David Rose and niece, Tamara Hinton. Jim was preceded in death by both parents, John and Victoria Hinton and his brother, Richard Hinton. The family wishes to thank Dr. Shiffman, all the staff at Monterey Bay Oncology, the nurses and caregivers of Hospice of Central Coast, and his private caregiver. Those who wish to honor his memory are invited to make a contribution to the Hospice of Central Coast or the place of their choice. The family has held its own private service.
Published in The Monterey Herald on Aug. 9, 2008
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