Obituaries : Joseph P. Hinsberg; Former City Official


Joseph P. Hinsberg, city manager of a small Sacramento-area town and a former high-ranking official for the city governments of Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, has died after a skiing accident. He was 39.

Born in Los Angeles, Hinsberg grew up in Inglewood and Torrance, later earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Loyola Marymount University. He worked at Hughes Aircraft and Torrance Airport before Simi Valley hired him in 1984, family members said.

Hinsberg worked for the city for six years, rising to the post of assistant city manager before he took a job in 1990 as director of community services for Thousand Oaks.


“A lot of people here knew Joe,” Simi Valley City Manager Mike Sedell said. “He was really well-liked, highly respected, a very friendly guy.”

In 1992, Hinsberg left Thousand Oaks for Lincoln, a city north of Sacramento, where he worked for a year as city manager. Hinsberg then joined Ralph Anderson Associates, a government consulting and recruiting firm, where he was working as an executive vice president.

On New Year’s Eve, Hinsberg and his brother-in-law, John Gulick, were skiing on Mount Rose near Lake Tahoe when they decided that the snow had grown too icy for them to continue, said Laurence Cummings, Hinsberg’s father-in-law.

The men sat down on the slope to take off their skis, then began sliding down the ice-coated mountain. While Gulick finally came to rest with only severe bruises, Hinsberg struck a rock and became airborne, landing head-first on another rock, Cummings said.

Hinsberg was airlifted to Washoe County Medical Center, where he remained in a coma until his death Saturday.

He is survived by his wife, Maureen Cummings, 6-year-old son Bryan Hinsberg, and by his mother and two sisters.


Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Sacred Heart Chapel, Loyola Marymount University, 7900 Loyola Blvd., Westchester.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to a trust fund for Bryan Hinsberg at Placer Savings Bank, 8595 Auburn Folsom Road, Granite Bay, CA 95746. Checks should be made payable to “Maureen Cummings in Trust for Bryan Hinsberg.”