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Dwain Andrew Hinskey
  • 67 years old
  • Date of birth: Mar 26, 1946
  • Place of birth:
    Saginaw, Michigan, United States
  • Date of passing: Mar 16, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Let the memory of Dwain, Papa Santa, be with us forever. He touched so many, and shall never leave our hearts.
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Dwain Hinskey, 67, born on March 26, 1946 and passed away on March 16, 2014. We will remember him forever.
Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Shelly Rogers on 26th March 2015

"Mr Hinskey, Although I never met you I feel as if I had from the stories your son Pete told me.  Your love for life and others shone through as "Santa".  You were an incredible man."

This tribute was added by Peter Hinskey on 16th March 2015

"Dad
You told me when I was a teenager that the years would fly quickly as I got older.  And as has been the case with everything else you told me it is the truth.  It is strange to think that a year has passed since you were taken home by the Lord, but not one day goes by where you are not in my thoughts.  I love you with all my heart and look forward to the day I will see you again.  I love you."

This tribute was added by Eric Grizzle on 26th March 2014

"Mr. Hinskey always had a smile on his face, a crazy hat on his head, and he touched many people through his years of teaching, preaching, and work in the community. Even when he was sick with mono, he was the pastor that married my soul mate, Angela and I. Mr. Hinskey, Santa himself, taught us to live everyday like it's Christmas, and to smile and laugh just a little bit more.  He is missed dearly."

This tribute was added by Tom Poirier on 26th March 2014

"I worked with Dwain for over 14 years at Benson High School. I saw Dwain every day at school. I can't count how many happy birthdays he sang to the students, and to me. Every year he came to school with a new crazy hat. I remember I took a picture of his tied died Mohawk hat and used it as a screen saver on my phone. He looked so funny with that colorful Mohawk. Dwain and I ate lunch together quite a bit and I miss him telling me how many days there were till Christmas. Dwain took time out his Christmas schedule to come to my home in Tucson in his Santa outfit to visit with my 8 year old daughter. She couldn't believe Santa was talking to her in her living room and he even knew her name, what a gift. Campus is not the same without him, and I will miss his gentle nature and most of all his friendship. God bless you Dwain, you will be greatly missed !!"

This tribute was added by Carlton Wilson on 26th March 2014

"You always put a smile on my face. I ask for a hummer for Christmas and you brought me one even though it was a toy. I will truly miss you, you were a friend and someone I could talk to about anything. Rip in peace you work here is done. God has a different job for you to do now. You will always be the person I remember when I need to put a smile on my face."

This tribute was added by Eli LaFata on 26th March 2014

"Wish you were here to sing Happy Birthday to. You enjoyed so much being able to sing that to anyone and everyone having a birthday. I will think fondly of you in your Birthday Cake Hat because that was my favorite of all your crazy hats. We loved you and miss you much."

This tribute was added by Karen Patterson on 24th March 2014

"My hubby & I feel truly blessed to have known Dwain (and Melody) even though for too short a time.  His faith, knowledge, joyous spirit, and
beautiful speaking & singing voice brought delight & sunshine to each Sunday he was in our (and God's) presence.  We miss you but know you are at peace and joy in Heaven. Our prayers continue for you, Melody, and for your family"

This tribute was added by Julie Tooke on 24th March 2014

"Not long after I came to live in Benson, my neighbor passed away and I attended a memorial service for him.  The place was packed so I guessed my neighbor was well known in town.  I was seated on the front row and after we sang Amazing Grace, this man who looked like Santa Claus, started to talk to us about the man who had passed away.
It became fairly obvious that this Santa Claus and the other man had known each other for many years because Santa shared with us that his friend knew Jesus because he had heard him say,"Oh Jesus!" while he was out working.    I laughed so hard and I knew right then that I would like to attend a church where this man would teach me without doom and gloom. This man was Dwain Hinskey."

This tribute was added by Kim Ast on 24th March 2014

"I am not sure in all the years that I have know you that I have ever called you, Dwain.  I think that from the start, I have always called you Dad.  I will miss your always upbeat and positive attitude.  You are something every man and woman should aspire to be.  You will be missed greatly and never forgotten.  Love, The Ast's"

This tribute was added by Kelly Williams on 23rd March 2014

"Dwain,
Brother & Friend.
I was 10 when you became apart of the family. You were always so kind & loving to me. All the little things you did when I was young & being able to call you friend as an adult. The good advice you gave though the years while working at the church. I Love You, Thank You!"

This tribute was added by Sarah (Coleman) on 21st March 2014

""Thank you"- By Ray Boltz

I dreamed I went to heaven
And you were there with me;
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea.
We heard the angels singing
Then someone called your name.
We turned and saw a young man running
And he was smiling as he came.

And he said, "Friend you may not know me now."
And then he said, "But wait,
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight.
And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start.
And one day when you said that prayer,
I asked Jesus in my heart."

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

Then another man stood before you
And said, "Remember the time
A missionary came to your church
And his pictures made you cry.
You didn't have much money,
But you gave it anyway.
Jesus took the gift you gave
And that's why I'm here today."

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

One by one they came
Far as the eye could see.
Each life somehow touched
By your generosity.
Little things that you had done,
Sacrifices made,
Unnoticed on the earth
In heaven, now proclaimed.

And I know up in heaven
You're not supposed to cry
But I am almost sure
There were tears in your eyes.
As Jesus took your hand
And you stood before the Lord.
He said, "My child, look around you.
Great is your reward."

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave.

Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord.
I am so glad you gave."

This tribute was added by Sarah (Coleman) on 21st March 2014

"Pastor Hinskey you and Melody were such an amazing couple I knew you both from the time I was just a little girl. You had great kids and wonderful grandkids that I grew up with. I enjoyed you pastoring us through the years and being a friend to our family and to the community around us.
I loved your love of Christmas and your gentle and kind spirit. I never saw you without a smile of joy on your face.
You and Melody NEVER judged others, you were ALWAYS accepting of others, compassionate and caring. You showed a TRUE EXAMPLE of the love of Jesus every second of each day.
I hope that I can emulate Jesus to others the way that you and Melody have through these years
You will be missed by thousands here on earth and we are grateful to God that He loaned us your life here for awhile.
I know that you're with Jesus now and He is SO so happy to have you <3"

This tribute was added by Michelle Steninger on 20th March 2014

"To a wonderful teacher and warm individual. It takes a great man to have the impact you had on our community. Thank you and my family will miss you."

This tribute was added by Guy Black on 20th March 2014

"A man of wit, a man of God, a mentor, an inspiration, this is the man known as Hinskey.  Never left us up a minor tributary without a means of motivation. Thanks"

This tribute was added by Mary Coleman on 19th March 2014

"When I think of Santa, Dwain Hinskey is the man I picture. Always happy and making everyone around him laugh and feel better. He was my pastor, teacher, and friend! I knew him my whole life, ever since I can remember! He will be missed very much. I know you are resting peacefully in Heaven by Gods side! It is only joyful tears I will shed for you because you are now in a better place far away and look forward to the day I will see you again!"

This tribute was added by Janet Hinskey on 19th March 2014

"Thank you for loving my children. You were an awesome Santa and I loved coming to your home just to ask how many days until Christmas. You taught my children the meaning of Christmas. You married my eldest daughter. You will be missed by many in my family. See you in Heaven. ♡"

This tribute was added by Jaelanne Carrillo on 19th March 2014

"Grandpa, thank you for everything you have done for me. I wish I had longer with you and you will be truly missed! Thank you for the memories, and making me believe in Santa again!!!"

This tribute was added by Gabrielle Ferraro Smolinski on 19th March 2014

"You were a great man, teacher ,and santa. I will never forget being in your class or being sung to by you for my birthday.I am extremely honored to have had you officiate my wedding .I will never forget you. We lost a wonderful man and heaven gained  wonderful angel. Rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Katie Miller on 19th March 2014

"I remember telling Mr. Hinskey that I was having a baby, I was scared to tell him because he was my favorite teacher and I did not want to disappoint him, and what he said to me put me in awe.He told me that I may be young and it will be tough but I shouldn't regret her because she was a blessing from God. My was he so very right. Mr. Hinskey was a good listener and did not judge. He was the happiest person I knew and left amazing impressions on everyone. Words will never be able to describe how grateful I am that I had Mr. Hinskey come singing into my life. I will never forget you Mr. Hinskey. You will be missed. Thank you for always being there for me and reminding me of my blessing everyday.... You were a blessing too!"

This tribute was added by Dee Greer on 19th March 2014

"The Greer family was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a wonderful teacher, man and Santa.  This man touched each Greer life over the years.  Much love and many prayers of comfort to all who are grieving this lost.  We love you!"

This tribute was added by Shelby Brittain on 19th March 2014

"Mr. Hinskey,
You were my inspiration throughout school, even when I was at my lowest and determined to give up you kept on pushing me. It was almost as if you understood me in a way that few others did. It was because of you that I decided to get my teaching degree and that is news that I only wish i could have given you in person. I haven't given up on my original dream but this is something that I plan to pursue for the meantime. Thank you so much, for everything. You will never be forgotten."

This tribute was added by Marylee Mattice on 19th March 2014

"Dwain was a blessing in my 2 kids lives as he taught them the importance of History and most importantly, showing unconditional love.  I'm so thankful for these last 2 years, being able to work with him inside his classroom. He truly had a gift of teaching and loving others. He has forever touched our hearts.  I'm blessed to call him a friend.  Melody, all my love and many hugs!"

This tribute was added by Liam Spinney on 19th March 2014

"People can learn a lot about life by just noticing how you handled yourself- it's indescribable. You changed my life.
Rest in peace."

This tribute was added by kristy reynolds on 19th March 2014

"Dwain - Thank you for inspiring me every day. You lived your life constantly serving the Lord.  You walked the walk. I treasure the memories you left with me: guiding me and praying with me, as we worked together. I pray that I can live a Godly life half as well as you did. I know you are finally home and I'm thankful that you are no longer suffering.  I know our Saviour welcomed you home with open arms, saying "Well done, my good and faithful Servant. ""

This tribute was added by Becky Droigk on 19th March 2014

"Pastor Hinskey,
I am sad to say I haven't gotten to see you or Melody in recent years, but I'm sure my mom kept you updated. Thanks for being a positive influence in my life! I'll always remember our church meeting in the mortuary :), and all the fun times in the new building, but most of all I'll always picture you as Santa Claus, and I wish my little girl could have had a chance to sit in your lap. See you in heaven! I will be praying for peace for your family."

This tribute was added by Brandy Crye on 19th March 2014

"Mr Hinskey- the first time i was graced with your presence i thought is this man for real?! How does he do it??? And without skipping a beat! I was talking about being a freshman in high school and you waltzed in to the cafeteria head held high with a huge grin, and than it began. You belted out "Happy Birthday" in a rendition only Mr. Hinskey could do! You brought many smiles and much laughter to so many peoples lives. You helped so many people grow and flourish you and your wife! Now that i have school aged children they all would come home and say "guess what no matter what time of the year it is Mr Hinskey knows how many days till christmas!" Or " mom i cant wait for my birthday maybe Mr. Hinskey will sing to me!" You will be missed. Rest in peace to a loving husband, father, mentor, teacher,and friend. Love Brandy Renee Goddard (Crye)"

This tribute was added by Jean Dimas on 19th March 2014

"You were always very giving and a kind and loving person.  I was happy to be your neighbor for those years.  You will be missed and Benson has lost a special angel.  May you rest now and be at peace in Heaven."

This tribute was added by Tabitha Coleman on 19th March 2014

"Thank you for being Christ-like in all you did. You truly lived your life for God, and it has inspired me and so many others. I can't wait to see you again in our forever home!"

This tribute was added by Brenda Kurtz on 19th March 2014

"I only met you two years ago, but you had a glowing spirit that lighted the campus. I will miss your bright smile, your crazy hats, and your warm heart. Save a place for us in heaven, my friend!"

This tribute was added by Rebecca Coleman on 19th March 2014

"As a pastor you gave true unconditional love and support to  me.  You opened your arms to my family and embraced us as only a good shepherd does.  You modeled the love of Christ.  You were the only "Santa Claus" that my children knew and loved.  My heart aches that I did not really take the time to tell you these things.  I pray that the Lord Jesus will pass this on to you.  I know that I will see you again in heaven.  I am very thankful that you loved Jesus and that you gave that love out to all you came in contact with."

This tribute was added by Jackie Yelton on 19th March 2014

"Grandpa, it was such a pleasure to be called your granddaughter. I will always remember the fun we had coming to visit you in Benson. Those trips were always filled with love, laughter and the Lord. It was never a dull moment in the Hinskey house between church, singing hymns and Christmas carols, going to the mom and pop candy shop and so much more. You will truly be missed. Save me a seat in heaven ;)"

This tribute was added by Elena Forehand on 19th March 2014

"Thank you Daddy for showing me what unconditional and never ending love and support means.  You faith and love of the lord never faltered even in the most trying of times.  I will miss you every day, but look forward to being reunited with you again someday!"

This tribute was added by Rebecca Hemmig-Robinson on 19th March 2014

"Dwain was such a godly man who radiated God's love in everything he did. I feel so blessed to have known him and worked with him. While we mourn our loss here, we rejoice in knowing Dwain is with his Lord and Savior. My thoughts and prayers are with Melody, Katie, and all Dwain's family and friends left behind."

This tribute was added by Carissa King on 19th March 2014

"Mr Hinskey and Melody Hinskey ! Mr Hinskey you are truly missed by us. All those goofy hats and the hard test in history. Even when you would sing happy birthday. Remembering the time you came over and Carissa asked you for a Popsicle. ha ha. We all will remember you Mr Santa Clause. Mrs Clause You are always in our thoughts and prayers. Kaelin Lockett Hope King Carissa King and The King Family and Mary!"

This tribute was added by tracy jazwa on 19th March 2014

"He sound like a wonderful man, Awesome role model. You have my sincere condolences on the loss of your Grandfather.
Words cannot even begin to express how truly sorry I'm for your loss,  My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family"

This tribute was added by Eli LaFata on 19th March 2014

"Dwain, you were Pastor and friend to us since 1990. You shaped our lives more than we can express. We will miss those Sunday lunches, where we shared info about our families and bonded as friends. I will miss so many little things. How many days until Christmas, when to bring in plants for the winter (I'm sorry a few of yours died during vacations!) I will miss Spottie's visits when you travelled. The thread of our life together has been broken. But it will be mended when we meet in Heaven. We will miss you in so many ways.


Pastor, Spiritual father, Friend
You touched and affected everyone you met. But I was one of the luckly ones that knew you best. that made me feel like part of your wonderful family. Sometimes, someone comes along and changes your life. But you changed my afterlife. See you in heaven my friend.
Lance"

This tribute was added by Vicky Konrad on 19th March 2014

"He was a great neighbor, teacher and had the pleasure of working for him. Benson will not be the same without him. My prayers are with you all."

This tribute was added by Josh Mecham on 19th March 2014

"Grandpa,
For as long as I can remember you have been teaching me about the Lord and teaching me how to be a man. I know I wasn't always the best in following in your footsteps, but you were always there to guide my path. I am sorry that I probably caused you to grow a few more white hairs faster than "normal", but it fit you. When I struggle to picture you gone from this world I know that you are still here because I will be a better man, husband and child of god because of you. Even though I didn't get as much time with you as I wanted, I know you impacted more lives for the better than I could ever hope to. You wanted to meet a celebrity, but know that you were looking at a celebrity every day you looked in the mirror. I love you old man, you are my superman and I can't wait to see you again."

This tribute was added by Rachelle Shaft on 19th March 2014

"Mr. Hinskey was my history teacher, and friend. He was always much more than just a teacher to me. He was the best birthday singer for birthdays and *un- birthdays* he  brought the Christmas spirit with him every where he he went every day. I loved that man. He was one of a kind and I am lucky to have known him. He was so happy to meet my son and I wish dj could have known him. Mr. Hinskey will be missed all over Benson and every where."

This tribute was added by jason white on 18th March 2014

"Uncle Dwain,
Thanks for walking with me through life and for lighting the
path to the Lord for me. You will always be in my thoughts and
your words will continue to guide me. I'm a better man because
of you.  
                 Love, Jason"

This tribute was added by christina billmaier on 18th March 2014

"Didn't know you for nearly long enough but felt like we went way back. I will miss your warmth, our chats on religion, your spirit and most of all your laugh. Love, Miss Christina"

This tribute was added by April Rose on 18th March 2014

"Uncle Dwain,
You meant so much to so many, especially our family.  We were all blessed to have you in our lives.  I know you will be watching over us.  Kylie, Kenzie and I will count down the days to Christmas for you!"

This tribute was added by Marah Hinskey on 18th March 2014

"He was my Papa Santa; the most important man in my life and my hero. He taught me how to be smart, how to trust in God, and how to put your heart into joyous things. I learned about Jesus, and he painted our world with red and green and Christmas magic all year round. Nothing will ever be the same without him here, but I will do my best to carry on those legacies he instilled in me. My house will always be filled with Christmas, and the kindness I saw in him I'll do my best to imitate. On birthdays I'll find a crazy hat and do my best to be as embarrassing as possible. I will never, ever forget how other wordly, amazing, and magical my Papa Santa truly was. I'm glad to know he's up there watching over me, and I can't wait to see him again. Love you Gramps."

This tribute was added by Peter Hinskey on 18th March 2014

"You were so many things to so many people, but I am so fortunate to be able to call you Dad, father and friend.  You are missed more than words can adequately express.  I love you very much, thank you for always loving me! Until I see you again..."

This tribute was added by Alexandra Shultz on 18th March 2014

"I only got to meet him once, on Super Bowl Sunday this year but I could tell how much he loved and cared about all of you! I feel lucky that I was able to meet him and got to see his Santa Claus ring!"

This tribute was added by Ruben Benavidez on 18th March 2014

"Dwain,
Thank you for gifting my family to me - my beautiful wife, Katie, my beautiful daughters, Marah, Madison, Isabella and my son Josh.  You'll forever be a special part of my life.  THANK YOU!"

This tribute was added by Katie Benavidez on 18th March 2014

"You were my Dad, Confidant, Protector and all-around Superhero - I so miss you and look forward to the day I see you again!!"


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Katie Benavidez

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