Sharing his light

Family and friends of senior remember his impact after his passing


Photo contributed by Lori Hinkle

Senior Dalton Hinkle passed away on Sept. 16 from a Cystic Fibrosis complication. His family and friends say that he is on their mind every day.

When his friends look back on his life, one thing is certain about senior Dalton Hinkle. He had an uncanny ability to connect with and care for people, whether that was through his music, his humor or his genuine personality. 

“His number one priority was making sure that the people that he loved knew that he loved them and that he cared about them,” senior Grace Blume said. 

Dalton’s mother, Lori Hinkle, says things started getting difficult around his 8th grade year. After battling Cystic Fibrosis his entire life, Dalton finally received a lung transplant in 2019. Unfortunately, his body started rejecting his new lungs, which caused his passing on Sept. 16.

“He was smart. Strong,” his mother said. “He was genuine.”

His mother says despite this disease, Dalton always wanted to be seen as normal and keep his condition private. He had just started working at Hollister and was a typical teenager, but his character is what set him apart. 

Seniors Austin Bonar and Devon Compton cared for Dalton like a brother. Bonar says Dalton’s charisma and optimism were just a few of the reasons why Dalton was so special to all of his friends. Compton feels as though writing lyrics for his songs allowed Dalton to connect with people on a different level because it was his way of coping with his disease, and if he knew it could help even one other person, then it was worth it.

“He was able to put pen to paper and get his deepest, darkest demons out,” Compton said. “And he could put it out in a way that, yeah it’s sad, but it still really resonates with you no matter what it is.”

On any typical day, Dalton would have been found expressing his emotions in any way possible, whether that was by talking to his friends and family, listening to music or making it. 

“He would sit and listen to music for most of the day, and then he would find some reason to leave the house,” Dalton’s brother Logan Hinkle said. “And then he would come back, and towards the end of that day, he would just be full force into making his own (music) or writing it.”

According to senior Diego Torres, Dalton’s ability to connect on all levels with people through his music and authentic personality is what made him so special. 

“I’ll always remember him. Always…,” Torres said. “I’ll still carry him with me and always make sure ‘Hey, I’m doing this for him.’”