Jim Hinson is a familiar figure around the Senior Center. He and his wife, Anne, first became involved by joining the square dancers in 1989. The Barbershop group soon caught his interest and he sang with them for several years.
Jim became an official volunteer in 2005 in the Senior Center’s Health Suite, where he assisted with blood pressure and glucose checks. Currently he helps track volunteer time and maintains the accuracy of the “My Senior Center” database. On Friday afternoons, you can find him working on a project with the Model Builders group at the Senior Center, which he has been part of since 1998. He reports that he’s been working on one particular project for over 20 years – a model of the USS Constitution – without instructions!
A native of Miami, Jim remembers biking all over the city for his first job, delivering pharmaceuticals. He was a Gold Palm Eagle Scout and was the first student to enroll and be accepted in Florida Presbyterian (now Eckerd) College, where he pursued a degree in Biology with a focus on Pre-Med. Jim went on to earn his MS in Public Health from Tulane University.
With a career spanning 40 years, Jim began working in 1960 at the Florida Department of Health, where he served as Communicable Disease Investigator. During the 1980s, Jim headed up the Special Health Services Unit and oversaw numerous award-winning programs including the Kidney Disease Program and the Epilepsy Program. But the most meaningful program was the Organ Donor Education Program that was recognized with a Congressional Record. Jim retired in 2004 after working 12 years as Logistics Officer with the Office of Emergency Operations.
Jim stays busy in retirement. In addition to his TSC duties, he plays violin in the Thomasville Road Baptist Church orchestra. A trained puppeteer, he is actively involved in “His Hands Puppets” ministry at his church, where he manages the group’s scenery and electronics.
Married for 58 years, Jim and Anne have two daughters and 10 grandchildren. The couple have enjoyed traveling, including five cruises to Alaska. He likes spending time with Anne and taking care of his bird feeders; he currently has bluebirds living in the bluebird house that he built.
Jim states that his proudest accomplishments are his children. As far as advice for other seniors, he emphatically states, “Stay Active!” His background in public health taught him how important it is to keep both mind and body working and functioning. Jim Hinson is proof positive of the wisdom of this advice.
By Judy Shipman