Leak Memory Chapel

945 Lincoln Road, Montgomery, AL


James Elmer Hinkle

June 24, 1933January 13, 2020

James Elmer Hinkle passed away on January 13, 2020 at age 86 from complications related to Parkinson’s Disease. A celebration of his life will be held on January 17, 2020 at 4:00 pm at Aldersgate United Methodist Church with a visitation at 3:00 pm.

Jim was born on June 24, 1933 in Lafayette, Indiana as the third of six children of Ura and Clifford Hinkle. He married his high school sweetheart, Joan Evans, and together they raised four children: Michelle (Chuck) Hammock, Cheryll (Randy) Ross, Sandra (William) Taylor and James (Kristie) Hinkle. Upon graduation from the University of Illinois, he accepted a commission in the Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. Jim’s career as an Air Force pilot provided the family numerous opportunities for travel. Jim retired in 1976 after serving in the Air Search and Rescue Service, Strategic Air Command, as a Missile Combat Crew Commander and he was a Tactical Air Command Instructor Pilot during the Vietnam War flying the AC-47 gunship. During his career, he received numerous military commendations including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, 13 Air Medals and the Cross of Gallantry.

After retiring from serving his country, Jim began a second career serving his community as an Industrial Arts teacher at Georgia Washington Junior High. He also continued his own education and obtained two Master’s degrees and an Education Specialist degree. In 1984, he was recognized as the Alabama PTA Teacher of the Year and presented a key to the city. After his second retirement, Jim and Joan traveled extensively abroad and took multiple trips to Disney World. They were both involved in Sunday school and church activities at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. He was devoted to the Boy Scout Program and was awarded the Silver Beaver and was a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow. He was elected to the BSA Leadership Hall of Fame in 2010. Jim was an accomplished wood worker and was always quick with a story or joke.

In addition to Joan, his wife of 64 years, Jim is survived by his five brothers and sisters; Charles (Lynette) Hinkle, Marjorie Taylor, Carolyn Maciejewski, Robert (Shirley) Hinkle and Ruth (Jerry) Kruezer; his four children, six grandchildren; Sarah (Charlie) Vaughan, Erin (Liam) Kelly, Rachel Taylor, CJ Hammock, James Eric Hinkle, Joshua Hinkle and great-grandchildren Leah and Boe Vaughan.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Jim's name may be made to Aldersgate United Methodist Church or the Tukabatchee Area Council Boy Scouts.


  • Joan Evans Hinkle, Wife
  • Michelle (Chuck) Hammock, Daughter
  • Cheryll (Randy) Ross, Daughter
  • Sandra (William) Taylor, Daughter
  • James (Kristie) Hinkle, Son

  • Aldersgate United Methodist Church
  • Tukabatchee Area Council Boy Scouts


  • Visitation Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Celebration of Life Memorial Service Friday, January 17, 2020


James Elmer Hinkle

have a memory or condolence to add?

James ' Bo" Knight

January 15, 2020

The world us a smaller place today.

Samuel Manuel

January 15, 2020

Mr. Hinkle and his wife were my favorite teachers at Georgia Washington. I had the opportunity to see both of them a couple of years ago and they both remembered me. We had a lovely conversation. My condolences are with the family.🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽


January 15, 2020

He was a great teacher and inspired honesty. #eaglescout

Curt Davis

January 15, 2020

He was a stern but fair and fun teacher. He was a mentor and one of the nicest teachers I’ve had at GW. He had a wonderful sense of humor even if his jokes were corny. He will be missed.

Jon Garnto

January 15, 2020

He was a great teacher, shop class at GW was awesome. He will be missed.

Ashley Hill bailey

January 15, 2020

Mr.Hinkle was a true mentor and a wonderful teacher at Georgia Washington jr high school he taught us more than just wood working he was a mentor and it is a true testament to see the love he had for his wife,family,teaching and the scouts and he will be greatly missed I am sorry I will not be able to attend as we have moved to Opp Alabama but my thoughts and prayers are with Mrs.Hinkle and the family

Ed Parrish

January 15, 2020

Aside from knowing him through Boy Scouts, he was my wood shop teacher for 2 years in Jr. High. Intelligent, helpful, caring, and had a quick-wit humor. Always looked forward to his class. One of the best teachers I ever had. He will be missed.

My prayers go out to the family.

Craig Yost

January 15, 2020

I had Mr. Hinkle in 8th and 9th grade. He is one of my favorite teachers! I do Engineering work and still apply some of the drafting skills he taught me back in 79 80. Very sorry hear this news. I absolutely loved this man.

Craig Yost

Andrew Ratzlaff

January 15, 2020

Had Mr. Hinkle as my shop teacher at Georgia Washington Jr. High. Always helpful, kind and very funny. You could tell he cared about his students. He was hands down the best teacher I ever had. Until Valhalla Mr. Hinkle.

Chuck Hammock

January 15, 2020

Jim was the best father-in-law. After my nervous call to six+ ft. tall Major (Ret) James E. Hinkle in 1982 for his/Joan’s blessing to wed his eldest daughter the next year, my admiration for Jim only increased. In time, my nervousness went away and I viewed him as a dear friend, not just my Father-in-Law. Beyond some perhaps “easy” USAF duty in Hawaii providing S&R for many “customers”, including other hero’s “falling from the airless sky” (Mercury/Gemini/both?) , Jim career in he USAF thrived. Later he excelled (and survived) some tough duty being the pilot of Puff the Magic Dragon (Spooky) in Vietnam on countless missions, much to the relief of our ground forces there! As documented by Col. Michael Hass in his book Air Commando, no outpost(FOB) in Vietnam was ever overrun when Spooky was on Station . Jim lived that like of a combat air pilot as his family waited anxiously for his return, with his new found gray hair (literally) and all. That time in his life was no movie played by clueless Hollywood actors. Eventually, Jim retired from the USAF and taught another couple of generations, of boys and girls, the value of the Industrial Arts of woodworking and so much more. May we all strive to have a successful 60+ year marriage to the wife of our youth, (the amazing Joan Evans Hinkle), and help raise four fantastic and successful children (if the Lord grants us that blessing). May we also have the blessing of grandchildren, and a remarkable legacy of service to Country, Community, Church and Family. I thank you God that Jim has now found peace and freedom from the disease that took him and may his life‘s work and example live on in the memory so many of us carry of Jim. Rest In Peace my friend.