Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

John Frederick Hinck

John Frederick Hinck, a long-time resident of Shelton, Washington and an ardent admirer of the natural world, died July 12, 2023, in Umhlanga, South Africa. Survived by Marion Spence, his spouse of 35 years, his four children – John (Betsy), Stephen (Mona), Andrew (Cynthia), and Matthew (Jill), and nine grandchildren.

John Frederick Hinck, the middle of three sons of Helen and Frederick Hinck, was born in Jamaica, NY, on May 17, 1940. John attended Corpus Christi grammar school in Mineola, NY and St. Mary's High School in Manhasset, NY. In High School and College, John was a competitive long-distance runner and attained running times for the mile that approached the 4-minute mark. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1962 with a degree in Wood Chemistry and during his career; he worked in the United States, Canada, South America, and South Africa within his specialty area of dissolving pulp. He married Barbara Woodard 1962 and with her raised their four children until they divorced in 1988.

John's career took him to Shelton, Washington in 1972, where he was employed as a research chemist at ITT Rayonier. John embraced all that the Pacific Northwest had to offer, including mountain climbing, sailing, clamming, wine making, gardening, and birding. John, along with several of his climbing partners, summited many of the challenging peaks of the Olympic Mountains, including Mt. Constance and Inner Constance. John also had a life-long appreciation for the natural beauty of wood, and he enjoyed crafting tables, chairs, and other items out of locally sourced wood. He was a long-time member of the Shelton Yacht Club where his sailboat Ms. Prim, a wooden 28-foot schooner, was moored for many years. John and his family spent many days sailing throughout Puget Sound and the Gulf Islands in Canada. In his later years, he continued these interests in South Africa where he and Marion embarked on many adventures, including the oft visited Kruger National Park in South Africa. He maintained residences in Shelton and South Africa until the end of his life.

John had an active volunteer life and participated in many civic activities in Shelton and Durban, South Africa. In Shelton, he was involved with the Forest Festival, OysterFest, Boy Scouts, and Rotary. In Durban, working with Rotary International, he and Marion established a project to provide washable and reusable sanitary pads to allow girls full access to school every month, providing education and empowerment for women in an otherwise highly patriarchal society. John and Marion also spearheaded efforts to restore Jubilee Park, a rare remaining swamp forest in the urbanized area surrounding Durban, with a focus on removing invasive plant species and returning the forest to its native state.

A celebration of John's life will be held at Shelton Yacht Club,701 E Pine St., Shelton, WA, on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. with a reception following. Memorials are requested to be sent to Shelton Skookum Rotary Foundation, PO Box 849, Shelton, WA 98584, for the continuing support of the sanitary pad project.


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