HAINES CITY – Members of the Haines City Commission took a moment of silence Sept. 3 to reflect on the passing of former mayor Philip James Hinkle, who died Aug. 22 at age 58.
Family and friends celebrated Hinkle’s life at Northridge Church, located on State Road 17 in Haines City, on Saturday, Aug. 29.
In addition to being a two-time mayor, Hinkle also served on the Ridge League of Cities Board and the Haines City Economic Development Council Board. At the time of his passing, Hinkle was the Executive Director of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, where he was employed for 34 years, according to family.
During his memorial, Hinkle’'s sister Donna Hinkle, of Haines City, described her brother as loving, selfless, humble, driven, God-fearing and a follower of Jesus Christ, among other attributes.
Donna Hinkle said her brother met the love of his life at age 17. Janet Fricke-Hinkle was 16 at the time, vacationing from Michigan with family. The couple met at the old Orange Ring. Through persistence and confidence, Philip Hinkle was able to convince her to marry him in 1983.
“He treated mom like a trophy,” daughter Amber Lynn Cameron said.
Hinkle’s grandkids called him “Papa.”
Diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014, the family fought together.
“With Janet by his side, they went to war,” Donna said.
Michael Philip Hinkle, of Winter Garden, said his father prayed without fear all his life.
“He went fishing every single day,” Michael said, tears overwhelming him in the moment
Members of Northridge Church posted a video of the memorial service at https://youtu.be/f5BakuAQgq8.