Gregory Hinton Obituary (1944 – 2021) – Bellingham, WA
Gregory Thorpe Hinton
July 7, 1944 – July 29, 2021
Bellingham, Washington – Gregory Thorpe Hinton was born in Bellingham, Washington on July 7, 1944. As a boy, he lived in West Seattle until 1954 when his father, Wesley Hinton, founded the Oldsmobile dealership in Skagit Valley. Greg graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1962 and attended Pacific Lutheran University. He left college and returned to the car business, working for a GM dealer in Tacoma and he eventually rejoined his father and brother at the dealership in Mount Vernon. Greg also served with the Air Force Reserve where he was stationed domestically. In 1976, Greg founded Mobile Music Unlimited, a premium car audio business. In 1983, he became the sole proprietor of Greg Hinton Oldsmobile Cadillac GMC. Greg was a proud and highly engaged General Motors dealer; a member of regional leadership groups and the National Auto Dealers Association. He traveled frequently for conferences, gatherings and meetings.
Greg was widely known by the nickname of “Rocket”. Friends attribute the name to the Oldsmobile rocket logo, though most concede it was probably his lead foot behind the wheel and love of fast cars. Greg had a lifelong passion for automobiles and he maintained a constantly changing collection of new and vintage cars and trucks. He loved restoring cars, the car collector community and competitions.
In 1999, Greg sold his GM dealership. In 2000, he and his wife Sue began the retirement chapter of their life, dividing their time between Palm Desert and their beach house on Samish Island. After just a year of retirement Sue died unexpectedly in 2001. Greg continued traveling between the desert and Skagit Valley. To keep himself busy, Greg occasionally worked for a friend who operated a VIP transportation company in the Palm Springs area, driving town cars and SUVs for artists, actors, and musicians. He enjoyed the celebrity passengers and frequently told them stories about his family, the Northwest and cars. For most of the last decade, Greg has lived at the Outdoor Resorts RV community in Palm Desert and his home in Bellingham. He loved Italian food, the family dogs, going to Costco and he was a proud Alaska Airlines MVP Million Miler. Greg had a large circle of friends in both California and Washington. He died at home on July 29th, after a brave fight with pancreatic cancer.
Greg is survived by his daughters Holly Hinton, Jenn Schubeck (Gene) brother Jim Hinton (Sharon) nieces Kristen (John) VanValkenburg, Jaimie (Kirby) Anderson, sister Sue Hinton (partner Frank Stewart). His family also includes stepdaughters Pamela Grace Stendal (Angela), Holly Tobiason (Steve) and stepson Benjamin (Jennifer). His beloved grandchildren are Alexa, Gus (Hannah), Cooper, Max, Reilly, Owen, Brody and Violet. In addition is Diana Carter, his loving partner and companion since 2019. Several cousins and two great-nieces are also an important part of his family. A celebration of Greg’s life will be held on September 18th at the Skagit Golf & Country Club.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Whatcom Hospice House or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. A celebration of Greg’s life will be held on September 18th at the Skagit Golf & Country Club.
Published by Bellingham Herald on Aug. 22, 2021.