Don J. Hindman

Don J. Hindman, 97, of Hinsdale and Key Largo, Fla., passed away peacefully in his sleep July 6, 2024.

Don was born in 1926 in Spearville, Ky., to Lela, a piano teacher, and Don C. Hindman, a Presbyterian minister. Raised in New Martinsville, W.V., Don inherited his mother's passion for music and learned to play clarinet and alto sax as a child, a hobby he would enjoy throughout his life. His father was the pastor at the Moundsville, West Virginia State Penitentiary and he convinced Don to sit in with the prison band where he played alongside inmates and other colorful characters.

After graduation from Magnolia High School, Don enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he trained as a waist gunner on a B-29 toward the end of World War II. After basic training, he shipped out to Clark Field in Manila. Shortly after arriving in Manila, his CO learned of his musical talent and asked him to join the USO band.

The band was de-commissioned at the end of the war, but Don had dreams of moving to NYC to pursue life as a professional jazz musician. His mother had other plans for her only son and demanded that he return stateside to attend Indiana University on the G.I. Bill. While at IU, Don pledged Beta Theta Pi fraternity and graduated with a business degree in 1949. He was later honored as the Kelley School of Business Distinguished Entrepreneur in 1987.

After graduation, Don joined Inland Container, a corrugated box company, and moved to Indianapolis. He excelled in sales, becoming a top producer and sales manager within three years. It was during the early years of his career that he met his future wife, Patricia Deforest, a first-year student at Indiana University. After a brief courtship they married in 1951. Pat and Don moved to Chicago in 1952 and later to Hinsdale, where they raised their four children.

When Don was 28 years old, he founded Time Container with seed money from his mother (which he dutifully re-paid in three years). Don built Time into a successful public enterprise and then sold it in 1970. After a brief retirement, Don acquired Clark Products, a paper distributor, which he also grew into a prosperous company with locations across the U.S.

As a young business owner, he joined Young Presidents Organization. Don often found investment opportunities with his YPO friends. Among his more exciting endeavors included a partnership in a California vineyard and the Aspen Inn. Don and Pat made cherished friendships through their YPO travels and experiences.

After business, Don's passions included golf and big band music. He loved playing golf with friends at the Hinsdale Golf Club and Ocean Reef Club, a hobby he continued well into his 90s. He loved listening to jazz music and was a wonderful raconteur.

Pat and Don were married for 72 years until she preceded him in death in November 2023.

Don is survived by his four children, Jeff (Gina) Hindman, Leslie Hindman, Sally (Dan Sawislak) Hindman and Donald (Maron) Hindman; his nine grandchildren, Jeff (Nicole) Hindman, Lacy (Mike) Bailey, Kirsten Hindman, Austin Hindman, Charlie Hindman, Hadley Hindman, Duke Hindman, Trudy Hindman and Sylvia Sawislak; and his four great-grandchildren, Paige, Lucy, Trip and Dylan.

A private service will be held at a later date.