Cover photo for Bill D. Hinkhouse's Obituary
Bill D. Hinkhouse Profile Photo
1928 Bill 2022

Bill D. Hinkhouse

March 8, 1928 — December 27, 2022

Among the soft hills around Studley, Kansas, Bill Hinkhouse was born March 8, 1928 to an entrepreneurial family earning their living from the prairie grass. His dad, Guy Hinkhouse, was always on the lookout for the next great opportunity while his mom Maud, a big-hearted woman who favored red hair and high heels, knew the answer to a worrisome windy day was to pack the kids up in the car, visit the neighbors and ride the bad times out at a spontaneous get together. Bill joined a trio: brother Rex and sisters Phyllis and Jean, and grew up in Kansas milking cows, herding sheep, and falling in love with the river by the cottonwoods. His parents eventually landed in Burlington, Colorado in time for Bill’s freshman year of high school. He played on the Burlington High School 1945 state football championship team and instigated many a school prank that put him and his good friend Bob Hendricks in hot water. Bill would leave Burlington to earn his undergraduate agronomy degree from Colorado State College A&M in 1950, and to answer a call to active duty on North Island Airbase in San Diego, CA from 1954-1956. However, he always returned to his adopted hometown. Throughout his life Bill worked with Rotary on community projects for Burlington and was an avid supporter of Morgan Community College. Bill and his family moved to Burlington with his lifelong friend Curly Hitchcock who proved to be pivotal to Bill’s future. When Curly married Mary Lacey, a nurse from Fountain, Colorado, Bill met Mary’s sister Billie Lacey at the wedding. It was not love at first sight. Bill’s penchant for teasing did not sit well with Billie. But the rest of the Lacey family became Team Bill when he showed up in Fountain with sheep manure for mom’s sweet peas, restored the younger brothers' broken-down jalopy, and helped put a new roof on older married sister Louise’s house. Eventually Billie came around. Traveling in a train car with an open dome, Billie looked up into the night sky and realized God had a special plan in store for her. And it included Bill Hinkhouse. They wed August 1952. The marriage lasted 70 years, produced 4 kids and 16 grandchildren as well as launched the fourth generation of Hinkhouse family small businesses finding new ways to earn a living on the prairie. In 1968 Bill and his brother Rex bought their own land and began working for themselves. Great Western opened a sugar processing plant nearby, and Rex and Bill capitalized on their locations and began producing sugar beets. The water intensive crop required innovation in irrigation. Bill and his brother were among Great Western’s top producers for a decade. By the end of the 70’s Bill’s son Barry was too. Hinkhouse Brothers continued to prosper raising wheat and corn after the collapse of the sugar processing plant, occasionally trying out new crops like sunflowers, beans, and barley. Bill and Billie were fortunate to go on two overseas trips to the USSR and South America with other American agricultural entrepreneurs to investigate first-hand different approaches to farming. The yellow house just south of town was home for almost 50 years. It was surrounded by fields alternating between wheat and corn. Bill built a shop behind the windbreak in the late 80’s and added an office in the yellow house’s basement. Even after he said something about retirement, Bill showed up at the shop every morning to hear the news from the guys and get an assignment for the day too. Then he would track prices in the basement office during the afternoon and end the day in his easy chair reading the paper. “A guy needs to know what is going on around him,” he would advise his children. That observation and Warren Buffet’s adage about persistence were words Bill lived by. He peppered his words with humor and was loved for his easy-going laughs. Bill became a grandfather in April 1980. Over the next 43 years, the farm and the yellow house would be his blackboard. He would go on to influence and instruct the next generation with his example and his knowledge. Bill Hinkhouse passed on Tuesday, December 27, 2022. He was preceded in death by his parents Guy and Maud Hinkhouse, his siblings Rex Hinkhouse, Phyllis Rawson, Jean Sipe and Robert Hinkhouse as well as grandchildren Garrett Padgett and Matthew Hinkhouse. Bill will be missed by his loving wife Billie Hinkhouse, his children Barry Hinkhouse (Debbie), Beverly Padgett (Dave), Barbara Leander, and Beth Moore (Doug), grandchildren Jenny Yahn (Brad), Christopher Hinkhouse, Kaley Frost (Wilf), Samantha Lovato (Willie), Kate Hinkhouse, Michael Hinkhouse, Michaela Munguia (Michael), Kellyn Sandquist (Erik), Kira Smith (Sam), Elena Leander, Jackie Leander, Mitchell Leander, Sybilla Moore, and Piper Moore, and great- grandchildren Rylie Hinkhouse, Preston Yahn, Trevor Yahn, Caleb Yahn, Myla Lovato, Chloe Lovato, Jaxon Lovato, and Maddie Munguia. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to Morgan Community College Foundation in Bill’s name. Public is invited to visit with the family Friday, Jan 13 from 5-7 pm at Love funeral home and attend burial at Fairview Cemetery Saturday, Jan 14 at 11 am.
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Friday, January 13, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Saturday, January 14, 2023

11:00 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

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