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Jonah Skees Hinman


1995 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Jonah Skees Hinman Obituary
Jonah Skees Hinman
October 16, 1995 ~ May 25, 2017
Resident of Santa Cruz

Jonah Skees Hinman, age 21, died near his family home at Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz, California. He had been missing since the morning of April 19, 2017. Both sides of his family, along with many friends, searched frantically for weeks, until Jonah's body washed up on the beach at West Cliff and Fair Ave on May 25.

Jonah was a junior in Molecular and Cellular Developmental Biology at the Colorado University at Boulder. He'd worked as a clerk at Green Vapors Shop in Santa Cruz and had three professional internships: for the County Health Services Agency in Santa Cruz, California; for Aurora Algae Laboratory in Hayward, California; and for iGEM Molecular Biology Research Team at CU in Boulder, Colorado.

Born at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California, to Suzanne R. Skees and Brian L. Hinman, Jonah is survived by both parents and his stepmother, Tabetha L. Hinman, as well as three brothers: Benjamin (25), Isaac (24), and Ellis (8).

Jonah spent his early years in Los Gatos, attending Daves Avenue Elementary School, playing T-ball, soccer, and taekwondo, growing up with his cherished cousins Christina and Elisabeth Deogracias and their mothers, Sandy Skees and Mary Beth Talpas. Jonah devoured science textbooks and built Tesla coils, rockets, and explosives. He spent many hours in his backyard, just inhaling nature- a propensity that would later flourish into mountain biking, hiking, and exploring the fields and caves of Santa Cruz, Carmel Valley, and Boulder.

Jonah moved with his mother and brothers to Santa Cruz at age thirteen and completed middle and high school at Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School, where he "left it on the trail" as a dedicated member of the Kirby mountain-biking team. He spent his senior year of high school co-enrolled at Cabrillo College, then transferred to CU Boulder in Fall 2014. Jonah remarked that being in the molecular biology lab on campus at CU Boulder was the happiest he had been in many years.

Traveling to the U.K. and Europe, Jonah reveled in pacing the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh's Old Town and the dusty paths of Margaret Island in Budapest with his best friend and brother, Isaac.

Jonah loved his family and friends with fierce depth and loyalty. He was selfless, generous, gentle, sarcastic, empathic, and considerate; at the same time, he had absolutely no patience for ego or pretense. His theology was science and his practice was inquiry. Up until his death, he carried a heavy course load and intended to add a neuroscience major and a Ph.D., to conduct research in the healing of the brain.

Along with Jonah's family in California, he will be honored and mourned by family members from across the U.S. and around the world, including Arizona, England, Hawaii, Kentucky, Korea, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio.

His family requests respect for their privacy in commemorating Jonah's life in small, private gatherings. Donations may be made in Jonah's name to the National Alliance on Mental Illness/Santa Cruz County at namiscc.org.

A memorial stone for Jonah will be placed in the Mariposa (butterfly) Garden at Santa Cruz Memorial Park, 1927 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Tributes may be made on Jonah's memorial Facebook page, Facebook.com/JonahHinmanMemorial.


View the online memorial for Jonah Skees Hinman
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on June 4, 2017
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