Howard C. Tinkham, age 100, of Mattapoisett, died peacefully on Thursday, March 23, 2023.
Born in New Bedford on November 20, 1922, the son of the late Earl H. and Minnie D. (Gamans) Tinkham, he lived in Mattapoisett all of his life. The Tinkham history runs deep in the area and Howard could trace his Mattapoisett roots to the eighth generation. He was the brother of the late Marion T. Roberts, and the late Ethel T. Apperson.
He was a second generation Ocean Spray cranberry grower, and became interested in water conservation. As a result, the Tri-Town Water District protected watershed grew by approximately 500 acres of property that was once in the Tinkham family.
Mr. Tinkham served in World War II in the Army Air Force for three years and was discharged as a Technical Sergeant. He graduated from Fairhaven High School in 1940, then, after the war, attended Worcester Polytechnical Institute, and received a Master’s degree from Northeastern University. He joined the faculty at New Bedford Technical Institution in 1950 and participated in its advancement to become the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He retired after 37 years, becoming a Professor Emeritus. He really enjoyed his time in the classroom. He served the Town of Mattapoisett briefly on the Finance Committee and the Conservation Commission. He donated land to the local Boy Scouts to create Camp Tinkham, and was always happy to meet a new Scout.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy Briggs Tinkham, and by their daughter, Cheryl Tinkham Baum, her husband David Baum, and their children, Jessica, Jason, and Jacob Baum, all of Lake Zurich, IL. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, great-great nieces and nephews, and many many friends.
His Memorial Visitation will be held Saturday, April 1, 2023 from 11 AM – 12 Noon at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Mattapoisett, followed by his Funeral Service at 12 Noon. Burial with Military Honors will follow in Cushing Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to either the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, https://www.cff.org/donate; the Tinkhamtown Chapel, 8 Long Plain Rd., Mattapoisett, MA 02739; Mattapoisett Troop 53, P.O. Box 1612, Mattapoisett, MA 02739; or the Mattapoisett Historical Society, P.O. Box 535, Mattapoisett, MA 02739. For directions and guestbook, visit www.saundersdwyer.com.
Losing Howard is a great personal loss to me and truly a loss that’s irreparable in my life. He was a dear friend, a colleague, a mentor and a loving father like figure to me. Howard’s simple down to earth personality, kind nature, truthfulness, honesty and a sweetness in his behavior and words automatically impressed me. He was the reason I came and take the job as a faculty in SMU in 1978 when he was the Chair of Mechanical Engineering.
Howard was a jewel of a human being. Howard’s presence made the earth a better place to live . We truly mourn his loss and his loving memory we will cherish always! May his kind soul rest in peace.