Wednesday, June 06, 2001

Mom died with twins for whom she longed

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Nancy and Gary Hinkle endured six miscarriages, including the loss of twins, before deciding to adopt newborn twin girls from a teen-age mother.

        “She had waited 25 years to be a mother,” said Mrs. Hinkle's sister, Kathy Caldwell of Troy, Ohio.

[photo] Nancy Hinkle and her husband Gary hold their twin infant daughters in this undated photo.
(Family photos)
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        Mrs. Hinkle, 48, and her 3-year-old daughters, Emily and Elizabeth, of Peachtree City, Ga., were killed Monday in a three-vehicle accident on Interstate 75 in Monroe. Mrs. Hinkle's 49-year-old husband, Gary, who was driving, is recovering from injuries, including a shattered hip, at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. He is scheduled for surgery on Friday.

        The Hinkles were returning home after spending a week with family in Miami County.

        “They have always wanted to be parents — always,” Mrs. Caldwell said. “Nancy was always there for all of her nieces and nephews. If there was a wedding, graduation, open house, you could be sure that Nancy was there with her camera, and in their face with it.”

        Their daughters had turned 3 in April.

        Dr. Quentin Van Meter, the family's pediatrician, said he saw Mrs. Hinkle and one of the twins about two weeks ago.

        “Mrs. Hinkle, bless her heart, as her husband was, was so dedicated to those girls,” he said. “There was so much love flowing in that family. Dad was madly in love with his girls and his wife.”

[photo] A more recent photo of the twin girls.
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        Norma Humphrey, operations officer at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Decatur, Ga., where Mrs. Hinkle worked in the operating room, said the hospital chaplain and a psychologist met with staffers for an hour Tuesday to help them deal with their grief.

        “It was a big loss for us,” Ms. Humphrey said. “She's very well respected by all the surgeons. We will truly miss her.”

        The Hinkles lived in Miami County, Ohio, for about 20 years and moved to Peachtree City, several years ago after Mr. Hinkle took an engineering job with NCR Corp. in the Atlanta area.

        Mrs. Hinkle had worked in the VA system since 1985.

        Mrs. Caldwell, 43, said her family is praying for Jerad Rushlow, the Michigan man whose Ford Explorer crossed the median and collided with the Hinkles' vehicle. Charges against Mr. Rushlow are pending, police said.

        “I prayed for him last night,” she said.

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