Beloved Northbrook Resident Don Hintz Dies at 91

Recognized with a day named in his honor, the local woodworker and historian passed away on Feb. 17.


A piece of Northbrook history died when Don Hintz passed away on Feb. 17, the local woodworker and beloved resident was remembered on March 1 at the Village Presbyterian Church, where he was the longest-continuing memberNorthbrook Star reported. 

In addition to building his own house, Hintz recreated pieces of trim to match the Northbrook History Museum's Victorian-era woodwork, constructed the railings wrapping around the building, designed displays for exhibits and handmade numerous picture frames. He was also a pivotal force in fundraising to move and restore the 116-year-old building when the Northbrook Historical Society first bought it in the 1970s. 

Though he spent his infant years in Iowa, Hintz has lived in Northbrook since he was 2 years old. So his knowledge of the village's history is extensive. In fact, Hintz was one of the authors of a book about the history of the village, called Northbrook, Illinois: The Fabric of Our History, which was written for the village's centennial in 2001.

Hintz grew up on a chicken farm at Techny and Happy Hollow roads and attended West Northfield School, a one-room school on Sanders with nine students and one teacher. For eighth grade, he attended Northbrook School, where he met his future wife, Gladys. Their first date—instigated with the help of a matchmaking homeroom teacher—was the junior prom in spring of 1938.

After serving in World War II and a long career with the Culligan Co., Hintz got involved with the historical society in 1973, when he read a notice in the newspaper that one was forming.

Over the years, Hintz built a display case for a scroll signed by Northbrook residents during the bicentennial, a console for the society's television and video cassette player, as well as numerous other gadgets and woodwork in the building.

Interested in reading more about Don Hintz's life? Check out a brief biography here. 

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Jim Reynolds March 10, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Don was truly a "gentleman" in every sense of the word. I spent many happy hours discussing a wide variety of subjects - his love of community, family, woodwording and listening to his historic insights and tales of yesteryear. After the loss of his beloved wife, I was proud to walk him up the stairs at the Northbrook Days bachelor auction some years ago. Don had a zest for life and people. I treasure those times and can still see his his subtle, infectious grin. Northbrook is a far better place for all of his contributions to the community.


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