“The greatest scientists are always artists as well.”
- Albert Einstein
David Randall Hinkle, CDR USN (Ret.), passed on at home on Monday, July 27 surrounded by his wife, Muriel, of 55 years, and three daughters, Valerie Hinkle Piland, Janet Lee Hinkle and Sally Russell. Dave was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2008.
The Stonington resident is perhaps best known for founding Sonalysts Inc. with Muriel, but there was so much more to Dave: cowboy, rancher, sailor, author, loyal friend, patriot, confidant, husband and father.
Dave was born in Texas in 1930 and was raised as a farm boy on a West Texas ranch. He had a rich Navy career, including three years as the commander of the submarine USS Pargo. He enlisted in the Navy in 1948 and entered the US Naval Academy by fleet appointment. Dave met Muriel at a tea party in Texas. The couple married shortly after his graduation in June 1954.
After retiring from active duty in the Navy, Dave went on to law school at UConn. Instead of pursing his law degree, in 1973 Dave and Muriel founded Sonalysts Inc. – a company that combined Dave’s experience with sonar and data analysis with Muriel’s business skills. Together they turned a small defense firm operating from a guest cottage behind their Waterford home into a greatly successful, diversified company with 400 employees and 18 offices nationally. It services range from defense operations analysis and tactical development to music and film production.
Dave and Muriel were honored for their business practices with the SBA Administrator’s Award for Excellence in 1986 and as a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year competition sponsored by Ernst & Young, IBM, Merrill Lynch, US Trust, and Inc. Magazine in 1994. They were also awarded the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut’s William Crawford Distinguished Service Award in 2002.
In April 2002, Dave was the editorial director for “United States Submarine Force” – a book that combines coffee-table elegance, meticulous operations history, exciting sea stories, and well-researched tales of technology development throughout the history of the “Silent Service.”
“It’s a labor of love,” Dave told the Resident in an interview 10-years ago. “We are reflecting, accurately, the lives of people who went to sea and telling the story of the flavor of their experience. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously.”
Dave was a member of the Naval Submarine League and the Submarine Force Library & Museum Association. He was also a member of Ariston and the Thames Club.
Services were held on August 1 at the Shepherd of the Sea Navy Chapel, Groton. Burial with full military honors followed at Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic.
Dave was a friend of the Resident. His support for the “Good News” will be missed but never forgotten.
Donations may be made to Hospice Southeastern Connecticut, 227 Dunham Street, Norwich, 06360.