Michael James Hinrichs, age 70 years formerly of Federal Way, Washington, father, grandfather, brother, builder, honorable veteran, and fun guy died peacefully at 10:17 a.m. on Sunday, January 1, 2023 at his home in Niles, Michigan following a brief illness. His family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided by the staff of Caring Circle Hospice at Home.
He was born on August 24, 1952 in Spokane, Washington to Myron J. and Donna J. (Ochs) Hinrichs, and was graduated from Federal Way High School. He enlisted in the United States Army and served in the medical corps, boots on the ground, in country in Vietnam. He was promoted to Medic, treating injuries and directing Corpsmen, and served in Vietnam for twelve consecutive months. He was discharged in 1973 as a Veteran of the Vietnam Era.
Back in the U.S., in civilian life, he became a skilled building tradesman, specializing in drywall and painting. He was employed by the up-and-coming Karl Neiders Construction in Seattle. As The Neiders Company grew, Michael’s skills followed, and he worked on some major projects including a resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He continued to follow work as the company grew nationwide, eventually coming to Niles in 2019 from Ellensburg, Washington.
Michael believed in God, but not a denomination. His mind was always active, a seeker of knowledge, and humbly sharing wisdom and knowledge in helpful ways. Much of his knowledge came from astute observation and reading, often reading 5 novels every week, and asking the library for their latest acquisitions. He had become a great fan of the novelist Stuart Woods, and had read at-least 52 of Mr. Woods’ Stone Barrington series. All of that knowledge allowed him to be a “Jack of all trades”, and he was as willing to share those skills as he was willing to share information.
He was great with numbers, and if he met you, then he learned your birthdate, and always remembered it. Perhaps numbers and details helped him to play pool well enough to win 150 American Poolplayers Association trophies. He also enjoyed golf, once scoring a hole-in-one at the Ocean Shores (Washington) Golf Course, and continued to follow televised golf events. When not watching golf, he enjoyed the Boston White Sox baseball and Denver Broncos Football. Perhaps being mindful of numbers helped him to enjoy some gambling, but he relied on taste alone to enjoy good whiskey.
He was preceded in death by his parents and by a brother, Gary Hinrichs.
Surviving family includes his daughters, April (& Jestin Long) Hinrichs of Niles, Michelle (& Jacqueline) Hinrichs of Niles, and Charlotte Mitchell of Orcas Island, Washington; grandchildren Donna Hall, Dakota (& Angel) Gaurin, Kyra Ballge, Alexius Glaspy, Markus Glaspy, Delilah Roberts, Crystal Severns, and Amber Gilchrist; great-grandchildren Emma, Gabriel, Sakiya, Arabella, and Emberlyn; Michael’s siblings, Ron (& Kate) Hinrichs of Indianapolis, Indiana, Dan (& Deb) Hinrichs of Linwood, Washington, and Randy (& Janice) Hinrichs of Mount Vernon, Washington; and several nieces and nephews.
The family of Michael Hinrichs is gathering at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, January 9, 2023 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles to witness the Veterans Flag Presentation and “Taps” offered by the United States Army Honors Guard, and to share a few memories. Committal of cremated remains will be private, at a later date, and might involve rockets and fireworks.
Contributions in memory of Michael may be made to the Veterans Helping Veterans, Post Office Box 563, Edwardsburg, Michigan, 49112. Online condolences may be left at:
Michael was diligent at every task, including running to the aid of his fellow soldiers on the battlefield – which most of us cannot imagine – and standing with fellow craftsmen finishing new building construction. But he was also diligent at caring for friends at parties and pool, and most of all, loving his family.
Veterans Helping Veterans
Post Office Box 563, Edwardsburg MI 49112