Katy’s wonderful, upbeat attitude, her determination and her enthusiasm for life were hallmarks of her personality to the end, even through her four and one half years battling ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). She was an inspiration to all who knew her.
She was proud to be a Hinckley and cherished time spent with her six siblings and their families and her extended step-family. Her two boys, Chris Johnson (U.S. Army) and Brian Johnson (U.S. Marine Corps), were the light of her life.
Katy was born in Powell on Nov. 18, 1955, and attended Powell schools through high school graduation and one year at Northwest College. Returning to college after starting a family, she earned a B.A. in Journalism (with Phi Beta Kappa honors) and an M.A. in Communications from the University of Wyoming.
During her time as graphics arts manager and then Director of Marketing and Creative Design at the Cheyenne Tribune-Eagle, Katy’s talent for art and design won awards from the Wyoming Press Association, the Mountain Ad Managers and an International Award in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1999 she accepted a position as instructor in the Communications department at UW, teaching public speaking and advertising, and developing and managing the communications lab.
She was diagnosed with ALS in January of 2002, but continued teaching as long as her health permitted. In spite of her illness, she continued painting and donating graphic design to community projects. Her painting, “Have Wheels Will Travel” - the Harley-Davidson on which she and her husband continued to tour the West with her portable wheelchair strapped on the back – won a spot in the permanent display at the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) art museum in Tucson, Ariz., and was included in the 2005 MDA calendar.
Katy also was featured on the 2004 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for her art work and her spirit in the face of her difficulties, and was recognized with a 2004 Personal Achievement Award by the MDA.
She is survived by her husband, Pete Hegg of Laramie; her mother, Ann Hinckley of Powell; three sisters, Martha Moewes of Powell, Molly Kinsey and Morgan Cromer, both of Sheridan; three brothers, Jack of Kennewick, Wash., Bern of Laramie, and Danny of San Leandro, Calif.; and by many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her father, John T. Hinckley.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Laramie (1262 N. 22nd, Unit A, Laramie, WY 82072) or MDA of Wyoming (951 Werner Ct. #385, Casper, WY 82601).