My condolances to his family, friends, and to Saints everywhere.
To me, President Hinkley was very much like John Paul II. Now I am not Catholic, but one can also respect all the good things both men did, not just to expand the membership of their respective faiths, but also to improve the public perception of their faiths. That Pope and this President did a great service to their respective religions followers to ease the concerns that many had. For Catholics, many saw them as stuck in the past. So JPII appologized for Gallieo and any role the Church had in the Halocaust. Similarly, Pres. Hinkley addressed polygamy head on with the media, emphasizing how that tenant had long ago fell out of doctrine and those who continued to practice it weren't Mormons and were in small tiny sects.
More importantly, both men had a kindly and warm presence that was a very positive face of their world religions. They made themselves hard to hate.
I just hope the President Monson won't be as reactionary as I find Pope Benedict to be.