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Life Story / Obituary
James B. Hinkamp, 98, passed away peacefully on March 20, 2017. The son of Rev. Paul and Martha Hinkamp, “Jim” was born and raised in Holland and attended Holland High School. He graduated from Hope College, where he met his wife, Theodora “Teddy” Meulendyke. He then pursued graduate studies at The Ohio State University and earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the age of 23. Jim and Teddy made their home in Birmingham, Michigan with their three children. They were very involved with their community and were active members of the First Presbyterian Church where Jim served on the Session as an Elder. He was employed by the Ethyl Corporation for his entire career where he invented and patented numerous fuel additives for worldwide use.
In 1984, he received the prestigious Thomas Midgley Award from the Detroit Chapter of the American Chemical Society for outstanding research contributions in the field of chemistry related to the automotive industry.
In addition to Jim’s contributions to his family, church, and profession, he was a gifted craftsman and spent many hours enjoying his hobby as a carpenter. One of his greatest joys was visiting the cottage that he and Teddy built together “Up North” at Crystal Lake.
In 1985, he married Alice Edwards. They enjoyed their retirement years at Freedom Village. He was a member of Hope Church, HASP (Hope Academy of Senior Professionals), the Century Club, and Second Century Club. Travel was a huge part of his life. The highlight of his numerous trips abroad was an around the world trip on a freighter.
Jim was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 40 years, Teddy; his second wife of 32 years, Alice; his eldest son, James B. Hinkamp II; his brother Paul Hinkamp; and his sister, Esther McCoy. He is survived by daughter, Joan (George) Trimble of Williamson WV; son, William “Bill” (Louise) Hinkamp of Orinda, CA; daughter-in-law, Leigh Montgomery Hinkamp of Lake City, MI; sister and brother-in-law, Lois and Vern Boersma of Holland, MI; sister-in law Joan Hinkamp of Portland, OR; sister-in-law Nancy Meulendyke of Grand Rapids, MI; six grandchildren: Michael (Samantha) Hinkamp, James Hinkamp, William Hinkamp, Franceska Hinkamp, Emily Hinkamp, and Kelly (Geer) McGee and five great grandchildren. He is also survived by step-children. Harvey (Alice) White of Albuquerque, NM; Laurence Carole) White of Libertyville, IL; Margaret (Graham) Teall of Ann Arbor, MI; and Carolyn White of Houston, TX and eight step-grandchildren.
A service will be held in memory of Jim at Hope Church on Saturday, March 25, at 10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hope Church, Resthaven Care Center, or a charity of choice.