Milton Madison Hinkle was truly one-of-a-kind, who entertained those he met with his colorful stories and catchphrases such as “Am I right or Amarillo?” Born on Christmas Eve, 1925 in Winters, Texas, he grew up working on the family farm along with his beloved dog, Ring. He graduated from Godley High School and joined the U.S. Merchant Marines shortly after high school graduation, serving until 1949. During his time in the U.S. Merchant Marines, he served as a fireman on six Liberty ships and a Navy T-2 tanker, carrying fuel and supplies to U.S. troops, in total blackout conditions under threat of German U-boats. The Merchant Marines carried him to Poland, Ireland, England, Japan, Hawaii, Germany, and through the Panama Canal. As a U.S. Merchant Marine who served during World War II, he was finally granted U.S Veteran status in 1988 in recognition for his service to the United States during WWII.
After completion of service with the U.S. Merchant Marines, Milton married Joyce Craven in 1949, a marriage that lasted 64 years, until Joyce’s passing in 2014. Together they raised two children, “Boo” and “Burr,” nearby Hobby Airport, where Milton worked as an airplane mechanic, first for his brother’s aircraft maintenance business, before later starting his own company, Hinkle Maintenance. He serviced Lockheed Jet Stars, Douglas DC-3 airplanes, and Convair planes, including aircraft for Lyndon B. Johnson and Howard Hughes. According to those who worked with him, he could fix anything. After retirement from aircraft maintenance, he enjoyed speeding around Houston in his 1964 white VW Beetle, exploring flea markets and eating out at local diners.
Milton was crafty, mechanically-inclined, a writer, artist, and an inventor. He wrote a novel about a seaman’s adventures on the high seas and journaled every day for 40 years. His family has a collection of his daily journals where he wrote about both daily life events and major historical events. Even into his 90s, he could be found tinkering in his garage or modifying something around the house in an effort to improve it. Milton also loved Westerns, particularly Gunsmoke. He kept a tin of M&M’s by his recliner that he snacked on while watching his favorite Westerns. He loved the company of family and friends, and looked forward to visits so he could share his stories.
Milton was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Joyce Craven; and an infant daughter Rita Jo Hinkle. He leaves behind to cherish his loving memory, his children Milton “Burr” Keith Hinkle and wife Deleslyn of Richmond, Texas and Theresa “Boo” Hinkle Huffman and husband Tommy of Dayton, Texas; his grandchildren Travis Huffman of Pearland, Tracie Mazzu and husband Sam of Houston, Jennifer Hinkle Meza and husband Sam of Katy and Katelyn Hinkle of Cypress; his great-grandchildren Tyler Huffman of Baytown and Georgia Mazzu of Houston; his siblings Freida “Nick” Creel of Cullman, Alabama, Frances “Dude” Hernandez of San Angelo, Texas, and John “Mouse” Alton Hinkle of Cullman, Alabama; and a host of other loving relatives and friends.
Friends are invited to visit with the family at 10am on Saturday, October 2, 2021, in the chapel of Sterling Funeral Home, 602 N. Main Street in Dayton. A memorial service celebrating Milton’s life will begin at 11am, with Bro. Danny Biddy officiating. A private family inurnment will be held in Palms Memorial Park Cemetery in Dayton.
Milton’s family would like to extend their gratitude to every single caregiver and all the medical staff at Swan Manor and Faith Community Hospice. Your constant kindness, patience, and care for him never went unnoticed.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Milton’s honor to the charity of your choice.
Condolences can be shared online with the family by visiting http://www.SterlingFuneralHome
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