Gregory Dean Hinze was born June 4, 1955 to Ernie and Lois Hinze in Yakima, Washington. He died at the age of 64 at Cottage in the Meadow on Saturday, July 13, 2019 surrounded by his closest family.
Greg’s early interests included all things motorcycle – with a particular fondness for British motorcycles – and a deep love of history, both of which remained with him throughout his life. As a high school student, he would occasionally step in for his history teacher and teach that day’s history lesson. He graduated from Selah High School with the class of ’73 and was the class speaker at his graduation.
Greg first met Heather at Phase II, a grocery store in Selah, and they were married April 12, 1986. Highlights of their adventures together include several motorcycle trips around the western states and Canada, mountain biking, boating, camping, target shooting, more motorcycling, and travels to the beach, including the Oregon and California coasts, Maui, and Cape Cod.
Having no interest in college out of high school, Greg worked as a Journeyman Sign Hanger for 25 years. This must have been where he acquired his MacGyver skills – if something he needed didn’t exist, he would figure out a way to make it or make it work. He took a lot of pride in his work and would often point out the signs that he had hung.
At the age of 47, Greg decided that he was done in the sign business and wanted to get a college education. College totally agreed with him, and with his maturity he appreciated and enjoyed everything about it. He went to YVCC for two years, then attended Central WA University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with BAs in History and Geography. He immediately went on to receive his Masters in History, and his Masters Thesis was published by the Wenatchee World Press as a book called Take Hold. His book signing went on for hours with people lined up out the door! Additionally, he wrote an extensive biography for a local orchardist. Immediately after graduating, he began teaching at Heritage University and absolutely loved his job. After Heritage he taught three years at Yakima Valley College in Grandview and last year received the student-nominated Faculty of the Year award. He also gave several lectures around the Yakima Valley on topics of regional and local history, mostly focused on the Dust Bowl migrations.
A true Renaissance man, he could do almost anything… from all the mechanics on his cars and beloved BMW motorcycle, to construction, to research, writing and lecturing. His knowledge was truly remarkable and he could carry on an intelligent conversation in almost any subject. To his wife of 33 years, he was her best friend, lover, provider, inspiration, protector, comforter, encourager, defender, comedian, personal encyclopedia, and all-around hero.
Greg is survived by his wife Heather (Chittock) Hinze, brother Curtis Hinze, sister Kristi Beers (Gary), son Jason Hinze and grandson Colin Hinze. He is preceded in death by his parents Ernest and Lois Hinze. He is profoundly missed by all who knew him.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday July 27th at 2:00 PM at Heights Church in Terrace Heights, 101 Butterfield Road, Yakima, 98901. Arrangements handled by Keith & Keith Funeral Home.