by karla pomeroy
Big Horn County Commissioner Thomas S. “Scotty” Hinman resigned the position on April 18 and a week later passed away from leukemia. County officials and others took time to remember the man who served Big Horn County as a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, original member of the South Big Horn County Search and Rescue, three school boards and most recently a Big Horn County commissioner.
Scotty Hinman was hired by Big Horn REA on Aug. 18, 1970, and worked until his retirement on May 3, 2001. He worked as a lineman, line foreman and as the master electrician for the cooperative. His dedicated service to the REA and to the members it serves is sincerely appreciated.
Big Horn REA General Manager Jeff Umphlett
The history of my and Scotty’s family goes back into the pioneering days of the Shell and Beaver Creek community. My earliest memory of him is of riding the Beaver Creek school bus when we were children. He was seven years older than I and was one of the “big kids” to me, but he was kind to the younger children, never bullying or belittling them, always willing to come to their defense when needed. His trait of looking out for the underdog was one he carried with him throughout life; one that was frequently on display when the commission considered controversial issues. Scotty was a man of strong convictions and great courage, traits that were evident as he clearly spoke his mind about whatever situation was at hand. I respected him as a man with no guile — he was exactly who he presented himself to be and one never had to guess what he was thinking. He would speak his mind clearly, leaving no room for doubt about where he stood. After he formed an opinion, it was unshakable and would be defended to the last full measure. I also respected him for his loving commitment to his wife, his children, his grandchildren and his friends.
Now we face the task of filling Scotty’s vacant seat on our Board. Everyone adds a bit of their own character and personality to the places they live and work, and replacing him is going to be a challenge. It is my prayer that the process will provide a positive leader who will be equally dedicated to the welfare of the people of Big Horn County.
Commission Chairman Jerry Ewen
I enjoyed working with Scotty and am glad I had the opportunity to get to know him better during his position as a county commissioner. Scotty always came in with a cup of coffee, a big smile on his face and a joke to tell. He was proud to be a county commissioner following in the footsteps of his family. He was also very proud of his kids and his grandkids and their accomplishments and would brag about them every chance he got.
Big Horn County Treasurer Becky Lindsey
I have only been a county resident and employee a short time but Scotty’s dedication to do what was in the best interest of citizens of this county always impressed me. I have had the pleasure of working more closely with Commissioner Hinman as the County Clerk and in my duties as Clerk of the Board of the County Commissioners since October. Scotty’s presence and wonderful sense of humor will be greatly missed in my office and in the Commission Chambers.
County Clerk Lori Smallwood
I was very fortunate to be one of those individuals who had the opportunity to spend time with Scotty in conversation three or four times a week. Everyone knows of Scotty’s reputation as a storyteller and prankster, and we all thoroughly enjoyed that side of him. That was his personality. There was, however, another side of Scotty that I learned to appreciate perhaps even more than the side that most would see — his importance as a piece of history to this county. His knowledge of our county was endless; from childhood recollections of the way things were, to who owned what land in early times, to when roads were built, he knew it all. If you wanted to know how something came to be in Big Horn County, odds are he knew the answer. I have knowledge that I could never have had, if it had not been for Scotty.
Airports Manager Carl Meyer
Our time knowing Scotty was brief, in the grand scheme of things. However, his impact on us was long lasting. Scotty was a frequent flyer in our office. His near-daily visits ensured that the coffee pot was always brewing and our seats were kept warm. A day without his laughter and stories was not a normal day; we came to require his presence to get on with our daily business. We all know Scotty was a great talker, but he was also a really good listener. He was tolerant, kind and made you feel like family. Our hearts are heavy as we adjust to the loss of this great man. To the entire Hinman family, we feel your pain, but we will definitely keep Scotty alive in spirit forever. He’ll never be forgotten.
Land Planner Joy Hill and the planning staff
I knew where I stood with Scotty; no ifs, ands, or buts. Scotty always had a joke or story for me. He would drop by the sheriff’s office and jail just to visit and have a cup of coffee.
Sheriff Ken Blackburn
Scotty was always a joy to see come into the assessor’s office as he usually had an interesting anecdote to share with us. As he came through to fill his coffee mug in our breakroom he would make sure he stopped to say hello to each of the staff. On occasion he would bring a big can of coffee to add to our supply, which was really appreciated. He will be greatly missed by the assessor’s office!
County Assessor Gina Anderson and staff
I don’t think I ever saw Scotty Hinman without a smile on his face. He always had the latest lawyer joke for me, and I loved hearing the stories about his past antics; at least, I think they were about his past antics. I didn’t know Scotty long enough, but I’m very glad for the time I did. He’s left big shoes to fill as a commissioner and as a man. Unfortunately for all of us, I’m pretty sure the mold was broken when God made him.
Former County Attorney Georgia Antley Hunt
Mr. Hinman is survived by his wife, Karen of Basin; his daughter, Connie (Todd) Werbelow of Emblem, and grandkids, Ben and Kelsie Anson; his daughter, Lori (Greg) Dorr of Jamestown, N.D.; his son, Alan (Cheryl) Hinman and two step-granddaughters, Katie and Lindsey Graham of Lyman; his sister, Nancy (Rick) Vonburg of Torrington; his sister-in-law, Dorothy (Johnny) Gibler of Basin; his brother-in-law, Bob (Sharon) Michaels of Worland; as well as countless other family members and friends.
Memorial services were Monday, April 29, at the First Baptist Church in Basin. Memorials in Scotty’s name will be received at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, P.O. Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426-0471 with proceeds to go to benefit the Big Horn County Library.