Werner John Hingst, 86, Kokomo, died at 10:03 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, at Community Howard Regional Health. He was born March 19, 1926, in Vernon, Texas, the son of Werner Frederick and Louise Marie (Greschel) Hingst.
His family later moved to New Braunfels, Texas, where he spent his childhood. After graduating from high school, he attended University of Texas until World War II called him away. He served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and interpreter. After being wounded in the Normandy invasion, he was granted a medical discharge.
Upon returning from the war, John enrolled at Purdue University, where he earned his degree in chemical engineering. In addition to graduating first in his class and receiving various scholastic honors, he was active in his social fraternity, Beta Sigma Psi. He also met his future wife, Hilda Miller, at Purdue. The couple married June 21, 1949, in the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Kokomo.
In 1950 they moved to Kokomo, which was Hilda’s home, and John served as treasurer of Miller Transportation Corp. John started his life of volunteerism by serving as national president of Beta Sigma Psi. His tireless efforts from 1950 through 1967 bore fruit as Beta Sigma Psi grew from two to seventeen chapters nationally.
In the early 1960’s, John started Durable Homes Inc., a modular residential construction company. He was also appointed to the Kokomo-Center Township school board, where he served as president.
John served as president of his local congregation, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, during this time. He was also an active participant in many other organizations, including Boy Scouts, United Way, YMCA.
In 1967-68 he served as national president of the Purdue Alumni Association. Also at this time he was president and campaign chairman of the United Way of Howard County. During his chairmanship, the campaign exceeded its goal.
In 1962 John became re-involved in Boy Scouts, which he enjoyed as a boy in Texas. He served as scoutmaster, district president, regional director, and held various positions in national and international jamborees. During his years as a scouting leader, he positively influenced many young men and still maintained contact with some of them.
John served on the Purdue Research Foundation Board from 1982 to 2010 and had served as a member of the board of directors of First National Bank and St. Joseph Hospital.
John had been fortunate in his business endeavors. This success allowed him the time and resources to serve his community, church and others extensively. He always strived to share some of his good fortune with those around him.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Hilda; three sons and their wives, Bob and Mary Hingst, Kokomo, and Bill and Ginny Hingst, Kokomo, Ted Hingst, West Lafayette; five grandchildren, Eric Hingst and Ann Hingst, Chicago, Sarah Showalter and her husband Ryan, Indianapolis, Jack Hingst, Denver, Colo., and Katie Hingst, West Lafayette; his brother, James Hingst and his wife Bernice, Texas; and two nephews, David Hingst and Doug Hingst.
John was preceded in death by his parents; one granddaughter, Emily Hingst; and one brother, Dean Hingst.
Funeral services celebrating John’s life will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, 705 Southway Blvd. E., with Pastors William Allison and Barry Akers officiating. Burial will follow in Crown Point Cemetery. Friends are invited to call from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the church and one hour prior to the service at the church Monday.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, 705 Southway Blvd, E., Kokomo, IN 46902; the Community Foundation of Howard County, 215 W. Sycamore St., Kokomo, IN 46901; or the Boy Scouts of America, Sagamore Council, 518 N. Main St., Kokomo, IN 46901. Shirley & Stout Funeral Homes & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.shirleyandstout.com.