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William M. Hinnant

August 13, 1933 — June 6, 2024


William M. Hinnant

William McKinley "Peppy" Hinnant peacefully departed this life on June 6, 2024 at the age of 90. He was born August 13, 1933, the son of the late Julia Finch Cooper and Brawley Hinnant of Middlesex, NC. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Phyllis (Plant) Palmer-Hinnant; daughter, Karen Palmer Scott; granddaughter, Saidah Palmer; and great grandson, Elijah Daniel, all of Harrisburg, PA and brother-in-law, Charles B. Plant (Tonia) of Austell, GA. He also leaves to mourn his loss close relatives from the Baltimore, MD area; cousins and families of Mrs. Mary Smith, Willard Powell, and Mrs. James Boykin; Mrs. Jeannie Austin of Philadelphia, PA.

During the 1940s, William moved from Middlesex, NC to Baltimore, MD. He was a member of the 1952 graduating class of Dunbar High School, Baltimore, MD. From 1953-55, he served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged as Staff Sergeant. After serving his country, his artistic education included the Larry Londen Music School, Baltimore, MD and Hartnett Music School, Manhattan, NY. Later in life, he attended classes at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC).

From 1956-59, William worked locally and, in Baltimore, MD area with various groups as a professional drummer. He fondly remembered special appearances at the Apollo Theater and the Count Basie Club while spending a year living and working in New York City. From 1961-67 "The Gator," another of his many nicknames, was a member of the Johnny Lytle Trio. The group entertained patrons throughout the eastern coast with their eclectic style of music; Lawson's Palace in Harrisburg, PA was one of their many engagements. After his marriage in 1968 to Phyllis, he was employed at TRW, Harrisburg, PA and Hershey Foods, Hershey, PA. From 1974, until his retirement in 1998, he was employed as a transit coach operator with Capital Area Transit (CAT), Harrisburg, PA.

William was an avid reader with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He enjoyed the daily crossword puzzles, listening to modern jazz music and for many years attended the annual Hampton Virginia Jazz Festival. He especially enjoyed the Steve Rudolph jazz sets at the Harrisburg Hilton Hotel, as well as other area jazz concerts. He referred to his barbershop visits: "meetings of great minds." He loved watching old western movies and socializing with family, friends and neighbors (including his weekly visits to the Broad Street Market). He enjoyed horse racing, gardening/lawn maintenance and especially keeping his former Catherine Street hedges well-manicured. As a sports enthusiast, his favorite basketball team was the Boston Celtics, and he was a die-hard fan. He looked forward to socializing and playing pinochle at the Heinz-Menaker Senior Center and unbeknownst to many, was an excellent chess player.

Despite various health issues, William enjoyed life to the fullest. Most memorable of his advancing years was the celebration of his 85th and 90th birthdays attended by family, friends, and members of the Heinz-Menaker Senior Center.

 Although William embraced and respected various religions, he believed in One Creator. His favorite expression was, "I'm just passing through." We will miss his unique wit, engaging conversations and his pleasing personality.

At the convenience of the family, a private service will be held at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. The family extends heartfelt thanks to all who conveyed their kind and considerate expressions of sympathy. Hooper Memorial Home, Inc. is handling arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William M. Hinnant, please visit our flower store.


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