Donald I. “Skip” Hinkel

Died May 23, 2018


Donald Irving “Skip” Hinkel, 92, of Comins passed away Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at his residence.

Donald was born in Dearborn on Dec. 5, 1925, a son of the late Violet (Aulwes) and Irving Hinkel. He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II. On April 7, 1945, he lost his leg when he was wounded by tank shrapnel and was captured by the Nazis as a teenager fighting on the battlegrounds in Germany. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and was a Purple Heart recipient. Don married Violet (Gill) of Canada in 1953 in Dearborn. The couple settled in Dearborn, where they raised their family. Donald was the owner and operator of Greenfield Die Manufacturing, beginning in Detroit and ending in Canton, when he sold his business and retired in 1996. Violet passed away in 1988 and Donald remarried Mary Cote-Hinkel in 1990. She preceded him in death in 2000.

At the age of 86, Skip broke the Guinness World Record as the oldest solo helicopter pilot. His flying often took him to his home in Comins and included frequent stops at the Gaylord and Oscoda County airports.

Surviving are his children, Donna Gibson (Don Reed) of Brighton, Diane (Bill) Fuller of Clarkston, Don Hinkel of Lead, S.D., and Dave Hinkel (Lynn Wilcox) of Naples, Fla.; nephew, Mark Hinkel of Bonita Springs, Fla.; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and one expected great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wives, Violet and Mary Cote-Hinkel; and his brothers, Louis and Bobby Hinkel.

Visitation will be Tuesday, May 29, 2018, from 4-8 p.m. at the Lashley Funeral Home, Mio. Funeral services will be at the Lashley Funeral Home at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 30. Interment will be at Fairview Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517, or

Arrangements by Lashley Funeral Home, 318 Pearl St., Mio.


Please review our community guidelines before posting

Please keep comments on topic and appropriate for all ages. Remember that people of all ages read our website. Those that are not appropriate will be removed. Please read our full community guidelines before posting.

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

Copyright © 2020, Sunrise Publishing. Powered by: Creative Circle Advertising Solutions, Inc.