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Euguen (Gene) Hinman

EUGENE (GENE) HINMAN
Cedar Rapids


Eugene (Gene) Hinman, of Cedar Rapids and formerly of Mount Vernon, passed away Dec. 29, 2017, at Cottage Grove Place. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Teahen Funeral Home is serving the family.
Eugene Edward Hinman (Gene), son of Archie and Cora Hinman, was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1930. He graduated from Elgin, Ill., High School, and then went to Cornell College, intending to major in journalism. Gene began sneaking into geology field trips with his roommate and changed his major to geology. He also met his future wife, Dot, in chemistry class, and they were married the day after he graduated. Gene received his master's degree from Washington State and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa.
After deferments to complete his M.S., Gene was drafted into the U.S. Army and spent two years in Japan, working in a supply warehouse. As discharge neared, Cornell offered him a position in the geology department. Gene loved teaching, in and outside the classroom, and Cornell was a perfect fit. He thoroughly enjoyed his contacts with students. He retired after 38 years of teaching but continued to follow his students' careers, enjoying visits from former students throughout his life. Off-campus teaching provided wonderful summers and Januarys for the whole family. Four summers in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Field Station allowed him to teach geology by canoe and teach his boys to paddle. Januarys on San Salvador in the Bahamas were spent teaching marine geology to his students, and gave Dot and the boys a chance to snorkel along with them.
Gene is survived by Dorothy, his wife of 50 years; his dearly loved sons and their partners, Dave (Lisa) and Jim (Chris); grandchild, Chandra Roth; sister-in-law, Barbara Boden; and treasured friends, Barbara Christiansen and Charles Connell.
Volunteering was an important part of his life. He served on the Mount Vernon Planning Commission and helped to develop the town's first 10-year plan. After retirement, he and Dot volunteered with the Red Cross on both their local and national disaster teams, helping those affected by tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and wildfires. Later they volunteered at the VA Medical Center in Iowa City and at the Cedar Valley Humane Society, where Gene served on the board. Looking for new opportunities led them to St. Luke's Hospital, where they developed the hospital archives.
Gene's photography hobby provided slides to be used in his classes and memories of his travels. Travel included two trips to Africa, a tour through Mongolia and China to collect dinosaur fossils in the famed Flaming Cliffs, a summer looking for dinosaur fossils in Montana (impressions of dino skin found there are now at the Field Museum), a trip on the upper Amazon helping researchers study river dolphins, nature travel to the Baja whale watching, and to the Arctic (Svalbard) and Antarctic, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. With Cornell faculty colleagues he also visited Jordan.
He loved time with his family, anything chocolate, new gadgets, golden retrievers, Stephanie Plum novels, Saturday morning coffee with friends, and his new doggie friends, Harper and George.
Gene will be remembered for his quick wit and his impish smile. He was so proud of his sons and daughters-in-law, as well as his students. He was a wonderful friend, husband and dad.
Instead of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Cornell College or to Indian Creek Nature Center, where he was a life member.
Online condolences can be left at www.teahenfuneralhome.com.