Lester Eugene "Les" Hinkley, 90 of Bella Vista, Ark., formerly of Fort Scott, died Friday, Jan. 1, 2010 in Springdale, Arkansas.
He was born Nov. 20, 1919 in Neosho County Kan., the son of Charles Sumner and Nina Pearl (Mix) Hinkley.
He married Beth Irene Zimmerman June 20, 1942 in Chicago, Ill. She preceded him in death Aug. 26, 2004.
Les attended school in Kansas and college in Kansas City, Mo., before joining the Navy, where he served in the States and thru WWII in the Pacific, entering Nagasaki, Japan right after the bombing. After leaving the Navy he was in business in Clinton, Mo., before moving to Fort Scott, Kan., in 1953 where he was owner and manager of Hinkley Beverages, Inc., servicing the four state region of Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
He was active in civic work in Fort Scott, serving as President of the Chamber of Commerce, Fort Scott Country Club, Bourbon County Cancer Society, the parks board, YMCA, and the Community Center. He was a member and Past President of both the Kiwanis Club, and the Clinton Rotary Club.
He and Mr. Eakle started the United Fund and also Little League Baseball in Fort Scott.
He was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, the VFW, American Legion Elks Club of Rogers-Bentonville. He was a member of the Blue Lodge in Fort Scott, Fort Scott Consistory, Mirza Temple, and Nomad Shrine Club of Bella Vista.
An avid golfer, Les was for many years Regional Director of the Life Begins at 40 of Harlingen, Texas with members throughout the United States.
Beth and Les moved to Bella Vista, Ark., in the fall of 1985 after retirement.
He is survived by a brother, Dr. Charles 'Wendell' Hinkley of Monte Vista, Colo., and his wife Orene, two nephews; Jeff Hinkley and David Hinkley, and a step sister, Mrs. Roberta Page of Lenexa, Kan.
In addition to his wife, Beth, he was preceded in death by his parents, and a step sister, Mrs. Danny Smith.
VFW Chaplain James Stradley will conduct graveside services 1:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 8, 2010 at the Fort Scott National Cemetery.
Military honors will be conducted by the Olson-Frary-Burkhart Post 1165 Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Detail.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society and left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall Street, P.O. Box 309, Fort Scott, Kan., 66701.