HORNELL-John Robert Brink, 64, passed on from this life early Tuesday morning, (Oct. 27, 2015), at Cranberry Lane, McAuley Manor in North Hornell after a long illness. John was born at the former Bethesda Hospital in North Hornell on April 8, 1951. He was the third child, and first son, of the late Robert and Gloria Sexton Brink.
John was a kindhearted person, a former Boy Scout, and a volunteer Boy Scout Troop Leader at the First Baptist Church in Hornell. He was interested in trains, rattlesnakes, exotic hot sauces, scary movies, and cooking. Growing up he loved camping and travelling with his family to Cape Cod, Stony Brook, Colorado and Washington, DC. John played the coronet and had a beautiful singing voice.
A diehard Green Bay Packers fan, he was the proud owner of much Packers paraphernalia. John loved mowing lawns, plowing snowy sidewalks at the crack of dawn, and socializing while drinking coffee at the counter of the Big Elms and Billy Schu’s.
Diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 2, John faced many challenges in his life. At the age of 7 John suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his legs, received skin grafts, and was hospitalized for over a month as a result.
John graduated from Hornell High School in 1971. He attended Alfred State College, Wellsville Campus and studied carpentry. John was employed at Family Bargain Center and Gunlocke Chair Co. in Wayland, NY. Hired by the NYSDOT, the state survey truck he was in was hit by another vehicle and John received injuries that prevented him from returning to work and retrained at BOCES in the culinary arts. His family and church enjoyed many of his culinary creations during the holidays and at church pot luck dinners.
His interest in following fire trucks led to his becoming a volunteer fireman at the North Hornell Fire Department. He served as Assistant President and President, and was named “Fireman of the Year.”
His brother Chris remembers his great New Years Eve parties, hanging out at his apartment with friends, and the huge Lionel train set up he had. His brother Tom remembers commuting to Gunlocke with John in the 1970s and the precise set ups John did for the wood cuts. Everyone he knew remembers the great stories he told. Called “Chief” by many people, he had an uncanny resemblance to an American Indian.
John Robert Brink was predeceased by his parents, Robert G. Brink and Gloria S. Brink. He is survived by his three sisters Donna (John) Young, of Collierville, TN, Judy (Thomas) Kluse, of Chenago Bridge, NY, and Nancy (Jerome) Brink-O’Connor of Hornell, NY. He also is survived by three brothers Thomas (Luann) Brink of Greece, NY, James (Kerry) Brink of Hilton Head, SC, and Christopher Brink of Marietta, GA. He is also survived by his eleven nieces and nephews and eleven great nieces and nephews and his Aunt and Uncle Lorna and Donald Brink of Almond, and Aunt Arlette Sexton of Houston, TX.
A special thanks goes out to John’s friends and caregivers at McAuley Manor, and especially Cranberry Lane, where he resided during these past few years. John’s sister Judy also gets a special thanks for helping John through the numerous obstacles he faced in his later years.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell is honored to serve the family of John Robert Brink.
A memorial service for John Robert Brink and his father, Robert G. Brink, who died on Sept. 11, 2015 will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 7, 2015) at First Baptist Church in Hornell.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing may contribute in his memory to either the First Baptist Church, 28 Church St., Hornell or to the North Hornell Volunteer Fire Co., 4 Maple Wood Ave., Hornell, N.Y. 14843. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the church the day of the service.
Online condolences or remembrances of John are welcomed at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.