Dr. Edna Fullmer Hinman

Dr. Edna Fullmer Hinman was an extraordinary elementary school educator, and advocate for the mentally ill. She recently ‘retired’ to the Big School House in the Sky, having died on September 12, 2011.
She had reached the age of 91. She was born in November 1919 in Rigby, Idaho. Her parents, H.E. and Mary Pfost Fullmer, were homesteaders, educators and ranchers for many years in the southeast Idaho area. She did love to tell stories about growing up ‘on the ranch’, and telling all the kids and grandkids what it was like when she ‘was a youngster.’

Edna always was a go-getter. She received her Associates degree in 1939 and a BS degree in 1956 from Ricks College, and then a Master’s degree in School Administration from San Jose State College in 1959.

After several years in the education field, she attended Utah State University where she received her Doctorate in Education in School administration in 1967. She was an early graduate of that program, and when she returned to the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada she convinced a number of other Administrator colleagues to also attend USU. As one of only three female principals in the entire District she worked very hard to open the door for additional women to become administrators. She eventually became the Associate Superintendent of the Clark County School District for Elementary Education. So if you ever think one person cannot make a difference, think again! She retired from the District in 1985, and was honored by a school named for her in Henderson, Nevada. April 28, 1984 was named “Edna Hinman Day” in her honor.

Her school career spanned 46 years in 6 states. Prior to her death, a scholarship fund in her name was created at Utah State University in the College of Education and Human Services, to support other educators to follow in her footsteps and become the high quality education administrators that the US education system so desperately needs.

Not one to ‘rest easy’ Edna moved to Cache Valley, where she chartered the first chapter of the Cache Valley Alliance for the Mentally Ill, serving as President for the first eight years. At the same time, she served on the Utah Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and was an advisory board member for Utah Vocational Rehabilitation. She served on the Utah Division of Mental Health Planning commission for eight years, and she was very active in raising funds for the building of the Bear River Club House in Logan. She received the Distinguished Service Award from Utah State University in 2000 for her many years of service, and the USU Diversity award for a community member in 2001.

Edna married Ralph Hinman on August 25, 1944. She moved with him to Illinois, then California, and finally Nevada, where Ralph became a successful professional gambler until his death in 1983.

Edna is survived by her son, Steven Cody Hinman of Logan, Utah. She is also survived by two sisters, Donna Shindurling and Ruby Christensen, both of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Her husband Ralph preceded her in death as did her sister (JessE Faupell of North Logan); brother (Robert Fullmer, of Las Vegas); sister-in-law (Anna Fullmer, of Las Vegas); and two brothers-in-law (Boyd “Bud” Shindurling of Idaho Falls, Idaho and Lloyd Christensen of Blackfoot, Idaho). Edna was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church. A Service of Christian Burial will be held at St. John’s on October 1, 2011. Condolences may be sent to the family at Allen Mortuaries.

An obituary cannot do justice to the impact of Edna on the lives of her family, her many students and to the mentally ill (especially in Cache Valley). She was a tireless advocate for the mentally ill. It takes one person to say “I can do that” and she said it often. It takes one person to say “you can count on me” – she did it and always made a difference. Edna would challenge you to live to your potential; in her memory, go out and make a difference in someone’s life.