In Memoriam, Fall/Winter 2021-2022
The Reverend Michael Hinson
Middle School Chaplain, Religion Teacher, Friend
In Loving Memory, 1963-2021
The Reverend Michael Hinson, Middle School chaplain and religion teacher, died on November 13. Rev. Hinson, husband to Jane and father of Lauren ’14 and Sam ’17, was in his 30th year of service to St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School.
Lovingly referred to as “Rev” by his students and colleagues, Rev. Hinson was a compassionate mentor, teacher, and friend. Whether he was sitting on a bench beside you or addressing a room full of students, Rev had a way of making each of us feel like the only person in the world. His love for those around him was evident in every single thing he did; being in his presence, even if just for a moment, was a true gift. Yet Rev would say that it was he who was blessed—that his family, his friends, and his students had enriched his life and given him his purpose.
“The depth of this loss is extraordinary and our hearts are broken,” Head of School Kirsten Adams wrote in her message to the community. “Rev was loved deeply by this community, and we know many will feel his absence acutely.”
On November 18 a beautiful memorial service was held at the Upper School. Students, faculty, staff, parents, and former teachers and colleagues came together to celebrate Rev. Hinson’s life, remember him, and share memories of a man who greatly impacted our community. Rev. Hinson was a colleague, a teacher, a friend, a counselor, and a priest to many, not just on the Middle School campus, but throughout the school and beyond. He touched innumerable lives with his kind and loving spirit, laughter, and genuine care, and made them better.
“This week there have been times when the light around us has felt dimmer,” said Mrs. Adams during the service. “There have been moments when without his thoughtful counsel and compassion, we have felt lost. Yet as we have come together to talk and remember him, we have been buoyed by his persistent, unconditional love and care, even though he is physically no longer with us.”
The Rev. Sean Cavanaugh, Religion Department chair and ES-12 chaplain, spoke in honor of Rev. Hinson at his Celebration and Memorial Service. The following excerpts are from Rev. Cavanaugh’s homily.
I have been hearing so many stories about our brother Michael these last few days, stories about his compassion and empathy for those in this community. In fact, I have heard so many stories that it has become apparent to me that he shared himself with this community in the deepest and most profound way possible. This is particularly true with his vocation in the Middle school where he spent the majority of his 30 years while at SSSAS. Our brother Michael, shared his gifts as a teacher and a priest with generation after generation of Middle School students.
When I say that he shared his gifts with this community, I mean that he really shared his full humanity with his students. Not just the church parts, but the parts that made Michael who he was. He was also someone who loved and loved deeply, whether it was his love of rock ‘n’ roll, his love of the Georgia Bulldogs, or his extraordinary love for his wife and children. Our brother Michael understood the importance of bearing one another’s burdens and difficulties.
Another thing that Michael absolutely loved was to laugh, and make others laugh within this community. I think most who knew Michael well knew that his love of laughter came from his strong belief that love could heal the wounds that pester humanity. That laughter was his way of saying to each of us, that no matter what you are facing in this life, it’s going to be okay.
Michael also had this uncanny ability to remain curious about life and the world around him. I think this curiosity and willingness to remain a child at heart is what made him one of the best middle school priests the Episcopal Church has probably ever seen…
There were so many other things that I and others appreciated and admired about our brother Michael. One of the most profound of these admirations was Rev. Hinson’s ability to connect with his full humanity. Michael was not trying to be anything else in this world other than himself, and in turn he wanted his students to become fully themselves as well…Michael so wanted his students and colleagues to be fully who God had made them to be. Michael could have cared less about any notion of perfection. He wanted his students to know that he saw in them the beautiful pieces that made them a whole person, even if they were afraid that those pieces were not good enough to share with others…
What I found so honest and even inspiring about our brother Michael was that he ran towards his humanity. He ran towards it with a full abandonment that I was in awe of. Michael really did get to that sweet place in life where he basically said this is who I am and you know what, I love who I am, I love who God has made me. It was because Michael fully embraced his own humanity that he was able to embrace the humanity of others. It was precisely because he ran towards himself fully with all of the things that made him who he was, his love of sports, of music, his family, his curiosity, and his love of laughter.
Michael also embraced the things in his life that created challenges for him, in particular the things he didn’t like. Our brother Michael for instance, did not like sitting, lord knows he also did not like meetings, and he was not big on planning. He also loved to wing things, especially his homilies…
…One of the other things I’ve heard over the last few days as people have gathered to remember our brother Michael, is that he seemed to have this uncanny ability to know when someone was hurting or needed a friend. In fact, he often approached a hurting student or colleague in a way that allowed that person to begin to get in touch with both the pain and the hope in their lives. I think Michael was able to do this because he really did want to help heal the world, and he fundamentally believed that most things in life could be healed when one person cared about another one…
…One of Michael’s most distinctive traits, at least to me, was that he didn’t always like being governed by the clock. There were times he would call me at the end of the day, often on Friday at 5 p.m., after a long week to simply check in with me towards the end of the day and I would think Michael really? Could we not have done this on Wednesday or Thursday? But inevitably I always felt better after talking to him, because he didn’t really care so much about what time it was in an ordinary way. For him it was almost always God’s time, a time for connecting with those he loved. Unfortunately, we have had our time cut short with Michael, and I am not ready for that to happen.
And this is what we mourn today, we wanted more time with Michael, his children wanted more time with their father, Jane wanted more time with her husband.
I will end with this. Michael’s priesthood was very much a priesthood modeled on the image of a shepherd. One of the most important jobs of a shepherd is to find people, to find the lost. Over and over again Jesus talks about shepherds as being fundamentally committed to that one part of the flock who left and needs help in returning back to the community. I think one of Michael’s greatest gifts was that he was constantly finding people. He was constantly finding people who lost the ability to love themselves and he let them know that they were found…
…Father Hinson’s life does not end with this homily or this gathering today. It lives in each of his students, his family, and his colleagues. It lives in the faith and hope that Michael shared with those he loved, it lives on as long as we share that faith and hope with one another.
“It’s not possible to elevate a single memory. Collectively the memory is all of the private and vulnerable moments and conversations we shared with one another. Tears, Laughter, Hugs. Ultimately the memory is the Power of Unconditional Love. He taught me that each of us has more of ourselves we can give to others in Love. I love you, Michael. I miss you dearly.”
– RON GINYARD, JR.
“Rev was a person who always found a way to make people feel special. He always found a way to relate to every single one of his students and found a time to talk to them, whether it was talking about football or homework. I think he had a big effect on the school mostly because of how he was always so happy; I never saw him angry or in a bad mood.”
– CONALL AMUNSON ’26
“Rev was a loving and kind person to everyone. He went out of his way to make everyone feel accepted and that’s something about him that I, as well as many others, will truly miss. He inspired everyone and made everyone feel like they could go above and beyond their goals.”
– JORDIN ANTENEH ’26
“As has been said, Michael had a way of knowing when you needed to talk and often it was even before you did. For me, it was when he would say, “let’s go sit outside on the bench.” The bench. I’m not sure if the magic was in the physical structure or the fact that we were outside, closest to God, but somehow, everything I needed to say, to hear happened on that bench and my day, my week, my purpose would become clear. I can’t say for certain what it was, but I believe in my heart, that in fact it wasn’t the bench or the location, it was my company; it was being with Michael.”
– KIKI DAVIS
“I remember in eighth grade we had a short writing assignment in religion class near the end of the year. When I showed him mine, he wrote on it ‘ready for high school,’ and this meant so much to me. Even now, when my schoolwork seems like too much or I’ve done poorly on a test, I remember those words. I remember that Reverend Hinson always believed in me.”
– JORDAN RESNICK ’22
James D. Osuna
On October 14, the St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School community lost former Saints faculty member Jim Osuna. Jim, husband to Ana, also a former Saints faculty member, and father of John ’90 and Catherine ’93, was a beloved member of the Saints community for almost 40 years, retiring in 1999.
During his tenure at SSSAS, Jim served as a history teacher, cross country and track coach, associate athletic director, chair of the history department, dean of discipline, and head of the Upper School.
Jim left a lasting impact on the Saints community, his love for the school and his students obvious to all who knew him. Three yearbooks (1968, 1979, and 1989) were dedicated to him during his tenure, evidence of the respect he garnered across decades of teaching. Jim’s SSS colleague, Roger Barbee, wrote the following piece in Jim’s memory.
Teacher, Coach, Friend
BY ROGER BARBEE
Although I went to St. Stephen’s School in 1976 to teach English and coach wrestling, I also became a student of several veteran educators in the school—especially Jim Osuna.
A teacher, the dean of discipline, and coach of cross country and track, Jim Osuna taught young men by demanding that each of them arrive on time, be fully prepared, and perform at their best. Although he coached in an all-boys’ school where other sports were revered, he developed IAC champions in cross country and track and field. He modernized the old asphalt track and founded the Draper Invitational Track Meet that had as its stellar race the steeplechase, an unusual event for high schools. If you came to a track practice in those days, you may have seen him driving his red Karmann Ghia down the track straightaway with a runner frantically holding onto a T-bar that he had fastened to its rear bumper. In this way he trained the runner to “stretch his legs” and realize that he could take three steps between those imposing high hurdles.
Jim built confidence in his runners. At an IAC track and field championship held at Bullis School in the late 1970’s I was shocked to see our star two-mile runner, Greg, immediately break away from his main competitors from Georgetown Prep in the championship race. Running to Jim, I told him our runner needed to be slowed, but he just said, “It’s okay, we know what we are doing.” Unknown to me, Jim had convinced Greg that he was so well-trained and disciplined that he could sprint out early and break contact with the two runners from Prep. He did and before anyone could react, he was too far ahead to be caught. That two-mile championship was an early example for me of Jim’s skill at training a boy’s body and mind.
When I asked Jim why the classrooms in the Upper School had slate blackboards on three of their walls, he told me how he and other teachers used them for a week’s lesson. His three boards were covered with information for a week. Those boards, with their different colored chalk lessons, were the precursor of copy machines, and every student of his quickly learned the discipline demanded for the classes’ required notebook. In his required exactness for the history notebook, Jim taught his students the discipline needed for scholarship by showing them that they could succeed.
Walking around Jim’s classroom, you would have seen many objects associated with his world history class. In his youth he had traveled the Nile River Valley on a red Harley Davidson motorcycle and had many examples of ancient civilizations displayed. One object was a stone with Sanskrit carved into it. That is fitting because not only was it a history lesson for his students, but it was also a language that may have given us the word “mentor.” While the Ancient Greek in Homer’s “Odyssey” gives us the trusted adviser of young Telemachus, Mentor, the Sanskrit gives us “man-tar” which means “one who thinks.”
For various reasons, many of us went to St. Stephen’s School. I went as a teacher and coach, but because of my encounter with Jim Osuna, I gained a mentor, “one who thinks,” and an educator to whom I am indebted and grateful for.
Marisa “Misa” Smith ’47
September 26, 2021
Sue Maguire Clifford Beckner ’48
February 1, 2021
Elizabeth “Betsy” Blessing Anderson ’55
June 21, 2021
Thomas Williams, Jr. ’58
October 21, 2021
Lynne Riley-Coleman ’60
October 21, 2021
William “Bill” Hunter ’62
September 22, 2021
Barbara “Barbie” Callender Davis ’65
March 11, 2020
Stephen “Steve” Fogleman ’67
September 9, 2021
Christopher “Chris” Meehan ’76
brother of Matt Meehan ’75, Andy Meehan ’80, Steve Meehan ’83, and Sarah Meehan ’85
August 27, 2021
Rodger Blake ’78
brother of Bill Blake ’77 and Wendy Blake ’84
October 11, 2021
Melton McGuire ’82
brother of Roberta McGuire Matthews ’84
July 18, 2021
David “Dave” Lefeve ’90
brother of Donald “Don” Lefeve ’94 and Ann Lefeve Snyder ’03
July 18, 2021
Ron “Ronnie” Haskins ’95
August 4, 2021
Family and Friends
Col. Alston “Al” Chace
father of John Chace ’77
June 3, 2019
mother of Mike Liss ’03
November 6, 2020
The Rev. Dr. William L. Dols
father of Katherine Dols ’77 and Jennifer Dols Huffman ’79
March 24, 2021
Jay Pugh, Jr.
father of Greg Pugh ’83 and Elizabeth Pugh Atkinson ’85; father-in-law to Aileen Lopez Pugh ’85; grandfather to Tory Atkinson ’19, Kathryn Atkinson ’20, Nathan Pugh ’17, James Pugh ’17, and Olivia Pugh ’17
April 10, 2021
father of Margaret Smyles ’10 and Holly Smyles ’08; step-father of John Moran ’03; grandfather of Lillian Moran ’33
June 30, 2021
Mary Bruce (Batte) Corkern
mother of Sarah Corkern ’00 and Molly Corkern Tynes Wagner ’99
July 6, 2021
Bryan “Bugsy” Watson
father of Lisa Watson Burnes ’90
July 8, 2021
mother of Dr. Anne Yoder ’77
July 8, 2021
father of Tali Olmi ’70 and Dr. Eugene “Gene” Olmi, III ’73
July 22, 2021
Anne Harrington Kiland
mother of Taylor Kiland ’85 and Ing Kiland, III ’92; grandmother of Kiland Hatcher ’31
July 24, 2021
Capt. Edwin Smedberg (USN Ret.)
husband of Beverly Hogle Smedberg ’55
August 7, 2021
Collin Reese, Sr.
grandfather of Kendall Smith ’10 and Kamal Smith ’14
August 16, 2021
husband of Ann Lanyon Kaplan ’55;
brother-in-law of Zoe Lanyon Smith ’59
September 1, 2021
mother of Genie Welch Ratcliffe ’74
September 2, 2021
mother of Greg Pugh ’83 and Elizabeth Pugh Atkinson ’85; mother-in-law to Aileen Lopez Pugh ’85; grandmother to Tory Atkinson ’19, Kathryn Atkinson ’20, Nathan Pugh ’17, James Pugh ’17 and Olivia Pugh ’17
September 8, 2021
Gary L. Fullem
father of Patrick Fullem ’17
September 10. 2021
Lt. Col. (Ret. USAF) John Haney Jr.
father of Daniel “Dan” Haney ’87
September 14, 2021
Dr. Edward Heiden
father of Steve Heiden ’83, Victoria “Tori” Heiden Kauffman ’85, Dave Heiden ’87, and Caroline Heiden ’91
September 23, 2021
father of Grace O’Donovan ’29
September 23, 2021
Dr. Ayne Furman
mother of Leo Braudy ’11
September 26, 2021
mother of Yvonne Pascoe Carson ’82 and Bill Pascoe ’78; grandmother of Ellie Carson ’16 and Clay Carson ’14
October 16, 2021
James “Buff” MacDonald, III
father of James “Mac” MacDonald IV ’12
October 23, 2021