Leslie W. Hinks, 80

Published 10:22 am Friday, January 6, 2012

Les went to be with the Lord on Jan. 4, 2012, after a long and valiant battle with dementia.

Les Hinks

He was able to spend the entire duration of his illness at his home. As the days turned into years and as his health declined more and more, he was able to make many happy memories with family and friend at his home.

Les was born to Leslie Sr. and Lorene (Wollenburg) Hinks in St. Paul, Minn., on August 1, 1931. At the death of his mother, he was raised by his grandparents, August and Anna Wollenburg in the Waltham area. As a child, he attended Christian Day School at Trinity Lutheran Church in Waltham. He graduated from Austin High School in 1949.

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In April of 1951, he married Viola Foster. They had six children and were later divorced.

Les worked most of his adult life at Hormel Foods in Austin, from which he retired in 1984.

On Dec. 22, 1972, he married his current wife, Betty. Thus began a blended family of 11 children. Les was a fantastic father. He gave each of them their own time. With the boys it was a big deal to beat dad at arm wrestling and pool. He made an effort to be at every baseball and football game and was always very supportive. With the girls, he was their hero, not always saying what they wanted to hear but willing to listen to what they had to say.

Les wasn’t a hobby kind of guy but he always dreamed of having a cabin up North. He loved going up to Bob’s Trailer Park in Garrison, setting up the pop-up camper and spending the week fishing on Mille Lacs Lake. He made great hamburgers on the camp stove, which he expected everyone to acknowledge. In October of 2005, a little guy named Wynston came to live with Les and Betty and he became his best bud.

He was a member of St. Johns Lutheran Church in Austin; his relationship with his savior was of utmost importance to him. His illness prevented him from attending church services but home visits from his former Pastor Natzke and current Pastor Ogilvie meant so much to him.

Les was preceded in death by his grandparents; parents; brother, John Hinks and a granddaughter, Victoria.

He is survived by his wife, Betty; sons: Michael (Joan) Hinks of Mahomet, Ill., Bruce (Barbara) Hinks of Savage, Minn., Mark (Kathryn) Hinks of Farmington, Minn., Daniel Hinks of Apple Valley, Minn., Dean (Lorraine) Wells of Jacksonville, Fla., and Don Wells of Bremerton, Wash.; daughters: Marcia (Steve) Stenberg of Concord, Calif., Laurie Dittberner of Woodbury, Minn., Brenda (Al) Ledesma of Poulsbo, Wash., Jennifer (Steve) Damsgaard of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., Jodi Hinks, of Austin; 18 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; sister: Valerie Burns of Austin; brothers: William (Caroline) Hinks of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Donald (Nancy) Hinks of Cape Coral, Fla., and his aunt, Marie Jancourt, formerly of Austin.

Paraphrasing the holiday greeting from St. John’s Lutheran Church: Les now goes to the richness of God’s eternal joy! We will miss you … with love!

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, at St. John’s Lutheran Church with the Rev. Tom Ogilvie officiating. Interment will be at Grandview Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary and at the church on Tuesday for one hour before the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer’s Association.