February 26, 1934 - March 28, 2013
SALEM - Sally Hinkelman, a woman of endless compassion and stout opinion, died Thursday, March 28 surrounded by family at Salem Hospital after suffering a severe stroke eight days prior. She was 79.
Sally Ann Smith was born Feb. 26, 1934, the youngest daughter and fourth of five children to Clarence and Helen (Smiley) Smith in Dallas, Ore., where she would grow up and graduate from Dallas High School. After attending Oregon State College for a time, Sally moved east to Ann Arbor, Mich., to enroll at the University of Michigan.
Eventually, Sally wended her way to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where her oldest sister, Betty, had relocated. It was here that Sally met her future husband, Daniel (although everyone, including Sally, called him Donnie) Hinkelman. Married in early 1963, the couple welcomed their first child, Todd, later that same year. Just 13 months after that, twins Greg and Jeff arrived on the scene.
In 1971 the family of five moved west to Surrey, British Columbia. Five years later, youngest son Andrew was born weeks before the entire brood relocated once again, this time to Keizer to be near Sally's elderly, and recently widowed, mother.
In the late 1980s Sally found a second calling as an instructional assistant at Kennedy Elementary School in Keizer, the institution that churned out her youngest three sons. As a recess warden, her finely honed kid senses short-circuited countless scraps, scrapes, and wedgies. She would retire from Kennedy in the early 1990s.
Throughout her adult life, Sally was an accomplished baker and prolific cook, unburdened by the restraints of cholesterol, fat, or calories - a skill set passed down from her mother. Her birthday cakes were the stuff of legend, edible dioramas celebrating the latest fad her young children were enamored of (Batman, Superman), or tongue-in-cheek rebukes of the latest fad her older children were enamored of (whiskey, women). Holiday family feasts could feed dozens, even though there were rarely more than seven or eight in attendance.
Upon her retirement from Kennedy Elementary, Sally made use of her new-found free time to create elaborate care packages to send back to college with her youngest son. These meals and cookies by the dozens to be shared with adopted sons and daughters (aka roommates of her son) earned her the affectionate nickname of Mama Hink.
Without question, the highlight of her golden years was the arrival of her grandson, Tommy. There has never been a happier human than Sally the first time she held him and finally, after many years of not-so-subtle hints to make it happen, became a grandma.
Unfortunately, health problems began to mount in her final years and Sally was unable to live alone, an indignity she did not deal with well. Still, she never forgot a birthday, holiday, or anniversary and would never fail to at the very least send along a card to commemorate the occasion.
Sally will be missed terribly, but we are all thankful to have had her in our lives. She is survived by sons Todd and Jeff, both of Portland, Ore.; son Greg, daughter in-law Sarah (Lawrence), and grandson Tommy of Clatskanie, Ore; son Andrew of Anchorage, Alaska; a sister, two brothers, two sisters in-law; and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Donnie, her parents, and a sister.
Visitation will be today from 10 am to 5 PM at City View Funeral Home. A Graveside service will be held at 2:00 PM, Thursday, April 4th at City View Cemetery. Arrangements are by City View Funeral Home.
Published in StatesmanJournal from Apr. 2 to Apr. 3, 2013