Harry Hinz

Harry Hinz

Friday, August 4th, 1933 Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

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Obituary for Harry Hinz

Harry (Bud) C. Hinz of Arvada, CO passed away July 8, 2020 at his home after an extended illness. He is survived by his loving wife of almost 63 years Mary (Penny) Hoffmann Hinz, daughters Elizabeth Hinz (Kathryn Wells), Katherine Tomhave (Jon) and Sarah Musson (Scott), and 3 grandchildren (Emma Musson, Ellie Musson and Alec Tomhave).

Bud was born August 4, 1933 in Berlin, Wisconsin to Harry C. Hinz Sr and Camilla B. Dunn Hinz and grew up in Ripon (birthplace of the Republican Party - a particular point of pride). He attended Ripon High School, where he met many of his lifelong friends - friendships that he cultivated throughout life with annual pilgrimages back to Wisconsin. Coming home to meet his friends at a pub over a Friday fish fry was not uncommon. Later in life when he brought his daughters back home, his friend’s families and his all became one big family. Harry’s daughters grew up knowing they had Wisconsin blood in them and knew his friend’s children as siblings.

After graduating from high school in 1951, Bud entered the Air Force on the GI bill and served in the Korean War. He was awarded several honors during his 4 years in the military and his aptitude for mechanics and engineering was recognized. After he was honorably discharged, he attended college at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

In 1955 when Bud returned from the service, he met Mary (Penny) Hoffmann in Green Lake, Wisconsin at Norton’s restaurant where Penny worked as a waitress. They were married in 1957 in Ripon, Wisconsin by the Reverend Schieler and the wedding reception was held at Heidel House in Green Lake, Wisconsin, surrounded by family and friends. Eventually the two moved to Littleton, Colorado with Bud’s first job where they made more lifelong friends. In 1968 Bud and Penny built a house in Arvada, Colorado in an amazing neighborhood where they raised their three daughters enjoying all the music and sporting events the girls were involved in.

Bud’s career spanned 30 years where he worked as an electrical engineer first for Martin Marietta which brought him to Colorado. He also worked for IBM in Boulder where his innovative ideas lead to several patents. Specializing in storage devices, Bud also worked for StorageTek and then in 1985 Bud’s brainchild, a novel tape storage device, became a reality when he founded the startup company Exabyte. Bud retired after Exabyte’s successful IPO.

Bud’s hobbies and interests included hunting, fishing, working with his hunting dogs, sports, cars, skiing, history (especially WWII) and travel. Growing up in Wisconsin, hunting and fishing were important. He often went back to Wisconsin in the fall for deer hunting season with his friends. In Colorado he developed a close group of friends with whom he went duck and goose hunting. His pride in using his hunting dogs on these trips was evident as there were often stories of the dogs upon his return. Fly fishing became a passion for Bud and he had many wonderful fishing float trips in Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska and Montana.

Bud was an avid sports fan and loved rooting on his grandchildren’s soccer and basketball teams as well as Denver East High School’s soccer teams, his alma mater University of Wisconsin teams, the Colorado Avalanche NHL team (to two Stanley Cup Championships), and The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. He enjoyed Rally Racing with Penny and watching Formula Racing. He did it all with great enthusiasm and passion and passed that on to his family.

Bud was a car enthusiast. After trading in a car his father gave him for a 1959 convertible MGA, Bud was well on his way to BMW’s, Mercedes Benz’s and finally owning a Porsche, which he said was always a dream of his.

Bud’s work required international travel which sparked an interest in places outside of the contiguous United States. Bud and Penny particularly enjoyed London (Herrod’s), Scotland and Germany but Bud proclaimed, until the day he died, Maui, HI was his favorite place. In 2015 Bud shared his love of travel when he treated the entire family to a Christmas river cruise on the Danube from Nuremberg Germany to Budapest Hungary - truly an adventure of a lifetime and a Christmas (Bud’s favorite holiday) not to be forgotten.

Some of the favorite Hinz Family memories include :
The houses on Chestnut Way and 69th Avenue and the friends made there, flying kites, teaching how to ride a bike, trips to Wisconsin every summer (the noise he made to “scare” us at night in the hotel room), Disneyland, Yellowstone, Napa, fishing, his stopwatch at track meets, the gift of a red pony named Tonto, panning for gold, driving to Smith’s cabin over Loveland Pass, a surprise 50th birthday party Bud planned for Mary in Wisconsin in which he had Wisconsin friends meet them there, annual ski trips to Breckenridge and chasing Sarah down the slopes, his incredible story telling ability and humor (which he passed down to his three daughters) - driving a car around a corner on 2 wheels (come on Dad, brakes are highly overrated), our car running out of oil because we were told to check the oil every time we fill the car up with gas (“but Dad, we never fill the car up with gas!”), mom’s Begin Freeway.

Of all the things that people should know when reading about Harry C. Hinz’s life is that he loved his family. The family he created out of such a great love is the most cherished gift anyone can give and for this, we will forever be grateful.

In lieu of flowers, we ask you to donate to a charitable organization that supports our military servicemen and women.

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Service Details

  • Service

    Monday, July 27th, 2020 | 9:30am
    Fort Logan National Cemetery
    3698 S. Sheridan
    Denver, CO
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Monday, July 27th, 2020
  • Interment

    Fort Logan National Cemetery
    3698 S. Sheridan Blvd.
    Denver, Colorado
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |

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Erin McCormick

I remember all the single malt shots Bud and Mary passed to me, through the throng of smart folks who took refuge from the rain under the Scotch tasting tent at the Highland Games up in Estes one year. After each one, Bud would look at the variety and exclaim, “Oh! We gotta try this one too!” And another dram would come down my way. After 4 or 5 (or was it 6?) I started to reflect, “I’m getting trashed with my parents’ friends!” Every subsequent visit to Estes for the Games brings to mind that wonderful day.
I will cherish your friendship and the support you offered my mother when my father died so unexpectedly. I will miss you.
I hope to all the rest of the Hinz family my kind thoughts and condolences.
Erin McCormick

Comment | Posted at 06:03pm via Condolence

Adolf Zoch

Oh Harry, I missed you. You took off too quickly.
Always enjoyed our conversations.Glad I was able to make the bucket list Porsche come true.
See you again with engines roaring, Adolf
Comment | Posted at 11:47am via Condolence

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