Claude (Skip) Wilson Hinsley

Resident of Oro Valley, Arizona

Skip passed peacefully into eaven on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, with family at his side. He was 73.

Skip was a brilliant man, loving father, generous human, devout Christian and active member of Alive Church in Oro Valley, Ariz. He is survived by his children Nicole M. Schmidt (Bradley), James C. Hinsley (Hazal), and Tyler W. Hinsley, and three grandchildren Quinn L. Kalabolas, Sean J. Tchorzewski, and Atlas D. Hinsley.

Skip was born William Frederick Kemp and was renamed Claude Wilson Hinsley after adoption by James (Percy) and Lillian Hinsley in Baltimore in 1946. Percy worked at Bethlehem Steel in Sparrows Point until his retirement in 1969. Lillian was a loving stay-at-home mother. Percy passed in 1998 in Sarasota, Fla., at 94, and Lillian in 2006 in Pleasanton, Calif., at 102.

Skip grew up in Baltimore near Cold Spring Lane and Loch Raven Blvd. He graduated high school from Baltimore Poly in 1963, and from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1967 with a degree in mathematics. Skip then moved to New England for four years where he received an MBA from Dartmouth College in 1971. After graduating, he moved to Boise, Idaho, for a position with Boise Cascade, traveling across the country. Shortly thereafter, Skip moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and completed a JD from UC Hastings. Skip spent 32 years in the restaurant/catering business, 23 of which was as a sole proprietor owner/operator. He planted roots in the city of Pleasanton and was a prominent member of the community through his involvement in Rotary, Tulancingo Sister City Association, Thursday Breakfast Club, Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, and his son’s youth sports leagues.

Food, wine and conversation were his passion and languages of love and created passionate followers of Scoozzi through Girasole and the Big Horn Grill Restaurants. He will be remembered for his wisdom, compassion, warm smile, generosity, humor, loving spirit and above all else his integrity.

Skip moved to Tucson, Ariz., in 2015 and would travel between his new home and the Bay Area to visit family and open his final venture, Sidetrack Bar & Grill, until his passing. While in Arizona he rekindled his faith in the Lord where he led a Bible study out of his home, served his church faithfully as an usher, and led the reconstruction of a community kitchen. He was a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of EPCL (Equipping People Changing Lives), where he planned to make a trip to Kenya in 2020 to visit the children his work impacted through schools being built and fed.

In 2016 Skip began to investigate his birth family and miraculously gained brothers and sisters. In December 2019, Skip was to be the special guest at the Witter “Once in a Decade” Christmas Dinner. Skip’s legacy continues to live on through his kids, grandkids, and his newly found family: Stewart L. Witter (brother), Randolph (Randy) F. Witter (brother), Willis D. Witter III (brother), Katharine (Kitty) V. Witter (sister), John J. Witter (nephew), Sara K. Witter (niece), Lisa K. Witter (niece), Steven L. Witter (nephew), and Katherine E. Witter (niece).

Deceased's funeral arrangements: Skip’s Church Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2019 at Alive Church in Oro Valley, Ariz. An informal Celebration of Life will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 11, 2019, at Sidetrack Bar + Grill in Pleasanton, Calif.

In lieu of flowers, we would request a donation to Skip’s passionate cause, EPCL, via