GREENVILLE – Paul “Herky” Hinrichs was born August 31, 1925, in Marengo, Iowa to Rev. Carl and Martha Hinrichs. Following in his father’s footsteps, he left home at 14 to prepare for the Lutheran ministry. While pursuing his Masters of Divinity at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, he found the love of his life, Frances, on a youth church trip to the skating rink. He frequently said “we’ve gone around together ever since.” It was also at the Seminary that talent scouts discovered his ability with a huge grin on his face to pitch a blazing fast ball. This led into a career of professional baseball with the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and, in 1951, the Boston Red Sox. He played with legends such as Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra and Ted Williams and was referred to in newspapers as “The Pitching Parson” and the “Squeaking Deacon.” Missing his Franny and son, he shortened his baseball career to return to the ministry.
Together they served in ministry for 34 years, starting a mission church in Aiken, SC and then La Puente, CA. He then pastored at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis, MO for 22 years where he oversaw the building of an award-winning church. Before retiring to Kentucky, he served in Litchfield, Il and Madisonville, Ky.
Herky was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Always compassionate toward those who were hurting and seeing both sides of a situation, he loved people with humor and understanding and was a source of inspiration to many. He preached with actions more than words.
He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Frances Hinrichs, his children: Mark Hinrichs, Rebecca (Willard) Keith, Heidi (James) Hilleson, Angela (JD) Ecrement, daughter-in-law Tammy Hinrichs, grandchildren: Katie (Cary) Mathis, Sam (Angela) Keith, Rachel (Daniel) Christmann, Zach (Katie) Hilleson, Hannah (David) Lowe, Bekah (Peter) Dean, Dylan (Kate) Ecrement, Claire Ecrement, Harry (Niamh) Hinrichs, Jack Hinrichs, August Reamey, and JaBu Reamey, and 14 great grandchildren. He is hanging out in heaven with his parents, his siblings, and son, Paul Hinrichs.
He died on Easter Sunday, April 9th, 2023 at Owensboro Muhlenberg Community Hospital in Greenville, KY where he received the best of care. Graveside Services will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Chesterfield, Mo on June 10, 2023. Online condolences may be made at www.tuckerfuneralhomes.com. Tucker Funeral Homes is in charge of arrangements.