Nathan Tinkle

October 19, 1935October 4, 2020
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Nathan Tinkle completed his journey on October 4, 2020, at the age of 84. That journey began with his future wife of 61 years on a Sunday evening, when they were to have their blind date, at which point Dena told the young airman that if they were going to go out on Sunday night, it would be to church. The love affair with both Dena and Jesus began that night. If they were together from that point forward, they were usually holding hands.

He was born October 19, 1935 to John and Lida Lee (Turner) Tinkle.

Nathan served as Elder at Southern Hills in Abilene for many years. They were currently members of Oldham Lane Church of Christ.

Nathan spent most of his professional career in the textbook publishing industry after teaching high school English in Irving. He worked with Ginn and Company as a sales representative. He served as Southwest Regional Vice President for Harper & Row Publishers and McDougal, Littell and Company. He retired from Pearson Scott Foresman in 2004 serving as the legislative liaison for Texas. After retirement, he taught a class at the Robertson Prison Unit in Abilene, delivered Meals on Wheels, and was constantly checking on, and encouraging his family members, as well as writing letters to the editor of the Abilene Reporter News as often as allowed. These were received with much cheering and admiration among fellow Christians and conservatives, and with some grumbling and entertaining rebuttals by the other side.

He was loved by all because he loved all. He wanted to truly know everyone. He cared. Sincerely. About EVERYone. He had an uncanny ability to remember names. If you met Nathan, you were friends for life.

His children, who absolutely know they won the parent lottery and continue to wonder in amazement at their fortune are Nathan Tinkle and his wife Wendy of Albany (grandchildren Kolby, Alex, Keely Fernandez & her husband Josiah, & Jayce); Kathy Harris and her husband Mark of Midland (grandchildren Makenna & Caleb), and Diana Marshall and her husband Joe of Rockwall (granddaughter Kelsey Harris & her husband Eric). He was also loved by 7 great grandchildren, and numerous extended family members.

He never said a negative thing about anyone. Never. He could find the good in anyone. He ate breakfast every weekday morning for approximately 10 years with his son, Nate, who would occasionally test his dad with names like Belechick and Clinton… no success.

He had one last witness as he passed. His family had several days to prepare for his passing. Within 2 minutes of the news, Nate, Kathy, Diana and his adored bride Dena had a conference call. It lasted 23 minutes. Not a tear was shed in those 23 minutes. Dad’s pain was over and he was in the presence of his Lord. They told stories and laughed and remembered and knew that there was extreme joy on both sides of that meeting. I can only imagine. That is the song that is so appropriate in our memory of the husband, father, grandfather and friend that defined Nathan Tinkle.

God blessed us. We love and miss you Nathan/Dad/Granddad/Tink. I can only imagine.

A graveside service celebrating his life and Christian legacy will be held on Thursday Oct. 8, at 10 a.m., at Elliott-Hamil Garden of Memories, 5701 Hwy 277 in Abilene. A come and go viewing will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 1-6:00 pm at Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home. (Graveside services will be live streamed access link below under Graveside tab.)

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Foster's Home For Children in Stephenville, TX or to Loving Care Ministries in Abilene.


  • McCaleb Harris
  • Mark Harris
  • Joe Marshall
  • Eric Harris
  • Kolby Tinkle
  • Jayce Tinkle
  • Brady Huff
  • Brant Huff
  • Kent Huff
  • Josiah Fernández
  • Nate Tinkle


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, October 7, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, October 8, 2020



Nathan Tinkle

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ysau Flores

October 9, 2020

I met Mr. Tinkle in 1983, offered me a job with Harper-Rowe Publishing Co. What a mentor, christian, and a gran-amigo he was to me. I followed him to McDougal-Littell, Inc. we had exceptional success because of his leadership and tenacity. We stayed in touch all these years, so, glad I did as he always had time to visit.
I will miss him dearly.
Vaya con Dios mi Amigo.

Jack Frazier

October 7, 2020

Nathan was a dear friend & brother in Christ he & his family were a great part of our family we are thankful & blessed for the life that he lived. I am a better person today because of Nathan being a part of my life He will be missed greatly but never forgotten-- love you brother SEE YOU SOON.

Mary Ann Balock

October 7, 2020

Mary Ann Balock

October 7, 2020

Mary Ann Balock

October 7, 2020

Nate was my guiding star throughout my professional life. I was part of his team at both Harper and Row and McDougall Littell. He inspired me to be a little better every day. Working for Nate was the highlight of my career! He was the best boss, a great friend, and a wonderful example for me.

James Boone

October 7, 2020

Death can never take a good man away, for in the hearts of the people he inspired, the legacy remains and continuous throughout generations. He was a GREAT Husband, Father, Friend & Teacher. His life will continue to be an inspiration to me and many others may his soul find eternal rest. God Bless my friend. May you always have the sun on your back, 2 fists in the wind. And the horizon teasing you farther down a great road as you ride.....

Jim Bushey

October 6, 2020

This is my favorite experience with “Daddy Tink” Motorcycle trips to Ruidoso.

David Merrell

October 6, 2020

Dena and family,
Please accept my condolences, knowing how much you will miss this giant of faith. Our Bible class was never the same without Nathan's insightful comments, sometimes even on the topic. Well, perhaps he was always on target when he led the discussion. He continued to make the rest of us think and helped us grow.
Of course, I enjoyed many discussions with him in other contexts, often in person, occasionally on a phone, and even via email. One of the last was a couple of years ago when he sat in my study and offered a series of ideas over a period of several hours. Yes, overall we agreed, but I think we each saw new insights through our discussion.
Then there were travels to several places. Most of this isolated year, my morning reading bookmark has been a souvenir from our trip to Branson and the Current River in July 1996. It lists nine couples who enjoyed shows together as well as a canoe trip down the Current River. It has been a joy each morning to see that bookmark and think of those great friends each day throughout the year.
Martha and I were fortunate to know Nathan. I pray that the Almighty Creator will bless your wonderful family in the future as He has in the past. Be blessed.

Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home

October 6, 2020

The entire staff of Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home extends our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Nathan Tinkle.

Pete and Martha Hinman

October 5, 2020

Dear Dena and family,
We are so saddened to learn of Nathan's passing. We have so many fond memories, particularly of his Monday morning visits with Pete. He always showed up with newspaper and kolaches in hand and ready to engage in a hearty discussion about the Bible, cars, current events, or just about any topic you could think of! We loved his wisdom, his sense of humor, and his gentle kindness. He will be greatly missed by both of us.
Pete & Martha Hinman


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