Virginia Mueller Hinner, 95, died peacefully in her sleep on June 23, 2022. She was born on April 16, 1927, to parents Lisette Fluck Mueller and Emmet John Mueller, in Detroit, Mich.
Virginia was predeceased by her husband, John William “Bill” Hinner, whom she married on May 25, 1946.
She is survived by her three children, their spouses, seven grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. Oldest daughter Kathryn Hinner Jones is married to William Crawford Jones, with two children, Virginia Jones Reagan and Ian William Jones. Virginia’s son, John Emmet Hinner, is married to Mary Lu Yunker Hinner, with three children, Lauren Hinner Monastra, Annie Hinner Sawyer, and Clare Hinner Roach. Virginia’s youngest daughter, Susan Hinner Leigh, is married to Richard Ronald Leigh, with two children, John Elliot Leigh and Sarah Leigh Gidcumb.
When her father, Emmet, was killed by a lightning strike, she, her mother and elder sister, Nancy, moved to Milwaukee. Virginia attended Milwaukee Country Day School and Downer Seminary in Milwaukee, and was very quickly dubbed a mathematical prodigy. She attended Purdue University to study electrical engineering (the only woman in her class and top of her class) and joined the Delta Gamma sorority. When Virginia met Bill, she was a junior and he was a decorated WWII B-17 pilot and the son of Peter Hinner, a partner of Bauske & Hinner Rose Farm. They dropped out of college to get married, live in Woodstock, and start a family.
With three small children to raise, Virginia was a loving mother and an accomplished homemaker and gardener. In early years she and Bill were involved with the family’s Hinner Bottling Co. For 48 years, they were co-owners of Hinner Signs and Equipment as well as Park Safe Co. In their spare time they were top-notch golfers, both becoming Woodstock Country Club’s golf champions a number of times and holding numerous officer positions.
Since 1983, Virginia was closely involved with McHenry County College (MCC). While a student trustee, she served on the student advisory committee of the Illinois Community College Board. A Phi Theta Kappa, she received the degree of associate in applied science/business data processing in 1986. Throughout the years, she was appointed to numerous college committees, including being a member of the MCC Foundation, serving as president for six years. In addition to planning countless fundraising events, she worked weekly as a volunteer math tutor to older students preparing to earn their GED. For a number of years, she helped many local businesses set up their computer systems, doing programming, etc. She was also president of the non-profit Chester Gould – Dick Tracy Museum in Woodstock.
Virginia was the first recipient of the MCC Legacy Award, in 2000, in recognition of her substantial contribution to strengthen the college through volunteer service, friendship, and support. The Illinois Community College Trustees Association awarded her the 2003 Distinguished Alumnus Award for being an integral part of MCC’s growth and positive impact on the community. In 2004, she was selected for MCC’s Excellence in Community Service Award, which recognizes graduates for their accomplishments.
We honor our mother as a graceful, highly supportive woman who was inspiring, brilliant, and circumspective in thought that challenged us all. With a great sense of humor, Virginia created a life well lived.
The family will receive friends on Friday, Aug. 19, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church/St. Joseph Room at 312 Lincoln Ave., Woodstock, IL 60098. A burial service will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, with a celebration of life at 3 p.m. at the Woodstock Country Club at 10310 Country Club Road.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Virginia Hinner GED Next Step Scholarship Fund at McHenry County College. Checks can be made payable to the Friends of MCC Foundation, 8900 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012. Donations can also be made online at mchenry.edu/donate. Under “designation” there is a drop-down menu. Please select Virginia Hinner GED Next Step Scholarship Fund, and feel free to leave comments for the family in the comments sections.