Wilbert “Dean” Hinton, 84 of Champaign, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, September 3, 2020 at University Rehabilitation Center in Urbana after a long battle with Parkinson disease.
He was born on December 21, 1935 in Mt. Auburn, the son of Luther M. and Erma (Bailey) Hinton. Dean graduated from Mr. Auburn High School in 1953. On July 11, 1958 he married Goldie O. Ridgeway in Mt. Auburn and they were married for 46 years until her passing on September 11, 2004.
After Goldie’s passing, he spent much time with his beloved companion Donna Beerup who preceded him in 2019. He was a member of the Mt. Auburn Church of Christ. Dean enlisted in the U.S. Army on May 5, 1958 and retired on April 30, 1982 with 24 years of honorable service. He served two tours in Vietnam crewing helicopters and supervising maintenance. He served three years in Alaska and three years in Washington, Alabama, and Kentucky. He spent his final nine years of service with the U.S. Army recruiting command both in Champaign and Fr. Sheridan, Illinois.
Following his retirement from the Army, Dean worked 16 years for the Immigration and Naturalization Service as an Immigration Inspector and Supervisor at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, retiring as the Assistant Port Director. Dean was a member of Kedron Lodge #340 A.F. & A.M. in Mt. Auburn and the Lodge of Perfection, 14th Degree.
In his spare time, he loved gardening which he did both in Champaign and his property outside of Springfield. Much of his spare time was spend attending farm auctions and continuing collections started with Goldie. His other passion was University of Illinois sports. He was a die-hard fighting Illini fan in good times and bad. He was famous within the family for saying “We’re gonna be good next year!” He will be sorely missed.
He is survived by his sons: Michael D. Hinton (LoriAnn) of Villa Hills, Kentucky, and Troy L. Hinton (Kristine) of White Heath; grandchildren: Samantha Woodruff, Molly Hinton, Travis Hinton, and Cassie Hinton; great grandchildren: Maxwell, Findley, Kyra, and Lily; and sister: Lois Watson of Beaverton, Oregon.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and brothers: Wayne Hinton and Charles Hinton.
A visitation for Dean will be held on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at McClure Funeral Home in Taylorville. A military graveside service will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Mt. Auburn Cemetery.
McClure Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Taylorville is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories of Dean, or condolences to his family, may be shared online at www.mcclurefuneralhome.com.