All Souls Kansas City

Dr. Robert Hinshaw | December 2, 1933 -March 3, 2020

Dr. Robert E. Hinshaw Cultural Anthropologist, Professor and author, Dr. Robert E. Hinshaw, 86, of Kansas City, passed away on March 3, 2020, in his beloved Guatemala.

Robert was born Dec. 2, 1933, to Cecil and Pauline Hinshaw in Wichita. He is survived by his loving wife, Linda Dycus Hinshaw, and children, Julia Ryberg (Mats), Ken Hinshaw, and Christopher Hinshaw (Alaine); stepchildren, Megan Diaz (Marco) and Ken Dycus; three sisters, Eleanor, Elizabeth and Esther; 12 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by grandson Nils, and daughter-in-law Belle.

Robert attended Scattergood Boarding School in Iowa and graduated in 1955 from Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1966, which led to his book, Panajachel: A Guatemala Town in Thirty Year Perspective. He did anthropological field work with Maya Indigenous communities from 1963-1970 and led Wisconsin-based Beloit College’s first cultural anthropology field school in Panajachel in 1978.

As a lifelong Quaker pacifist, Robert was active in Oread and Boulder Friends Meetings and was an outspoken critic of the War in Vietnam. He met his wife, Linda, in Nicaragua in 1990 while they served as official International Election observers with Witness for Peace. They led delegations to Chiapas, Mexico, and Guatemala to determine the safety of Indigenous Maya returning to Guatemala as the 30-year civil war in that country came to a close. They also were election observers in Guatemala in 2003 for the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission.

Robert had homes in Guatemala, Colorado, and Kansas City until 2018. He loved leading tours to Guatemala, Peru, the Four corners of the USA, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Nova Scotia, which allowed him to continue his first love: teaching cultures and led to many lasting friendships. Robert’s reading a wide variety of subjects led to his writing, Living with Nature’s Extremes: The Life of Gilbert Fowler White (2006), and two novels set in Guatemala, My Lake at the Center of the World (2007) and The Rape of Hope (2008).

Linda wishes to thank the heart failure team and cancer care providers who extended Robert’s life for 4 years past his diagnosis. Robert’s full and active life will be celebrated June 28th. Donations suggested to Maya Educational Foundation, food bank or animal shelter of your choice.

Legacy Obituary link


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