A life well lived
HORNELL-Robert George “Bob” Brink, 92 died September 11, 2015 in Hornell, New York after a short illness.
Bob was born on August 20, 1923 in Hornell to Walter and Eleanor (Saunders) Brink. His father was so excited to spread the news of his son’s birth that when he stopped to let relatives know he forgot to engage the parking brake and watched as the car went over an embankment and almost into the Canisteo River. Bob was the oldest of three sons. His brother Erving was born in 1925 and brother Don was born in 1930. He was a lifelong resident of Hornell attending Irving School, next to the Hornell Fairgrounds and ultimately graduating from Hornell High School in 1941.
Bob was a true gentleman with a generous witty spirit that many people experienced through his gift of time and resources. An example of this is his 13 year service to Faith in Action driving people to doctor’s appointments. He had a strong belief in God and faith that good would always prevail. A true patriot, he was an embodiment of the “Greatest Generation.”
Bob met the love of his life, Gloria Sexton, in the 8th grade. His cousin Paul McDaniels and good friend Don Sibley encouraged Bob to ask Gloria out on a date. Bob stated that the best day of his life was the day Gloria accepted his proposal of marriage. Bob and Gloria married on September 28, 1946. Together they raised seven children. The foundation of love, respect, and the importance of family is a legacy Bob and Gloria created and is witnessed throughout the family. Bob will always be remembered as a man with a great sense of humor who loved spending time with his children exploring and learning new things. Sunday afternoons included hiking, building campfires, and many other fun pursuits. He had true adventurous spirit he loved to share with his family.
Throughout his high school years, Bob played basketball, in both the Sunday school league and on the undefeated Hornell High JV team. In the Sunday school leagued, he was on the all-star team and was second high scorer.
At the onset of World War II, Bob was enrolled in a machinist course at Alfred University and working at Foster Wheeler making steam boilers for the Navy. He immediately enlisted into the Army Air Corps pilot training. He completed all requirements and was called to duty on December 3, 1943. He did basic training in Atlantic City and college preparation classes in Birmingham, Alabama. Bob said that they put them through four years of college in two months. From there he went to Douglas, Georgia for two months of primary flight training. After graduating and receiving his pilot’s wings in 1944, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and assigned to troop carrier training in Missouri. He served the remainder of the war in the South Pacific in a troop carrier unit flying cargo and personnel within the combat area. Bob landed the second plane in Japan as the surrender was being negotiated. Discharged in 1946, he served in the Air Force Reserves until 1958 and promoted to the rank of captain. He worked at SKF Industries in Hornell, and for 19 years of his career was quality control, inventory control and purchasing manager, retiring in 1986. In his 29 years of retirement he enjoyed going to the wineries, searching for the best reuben sandwich, and visiting his family.
Bob coached basketball, served as scout master for troop 28. He served on many boards and committees around town and at the First Baptist Church. He was a Republican committee man for his ward in Hornell.
An avid bowler, wood worker, camper, house renovator, gardener and voracious reader, he also loved traveling and was always ready to go “wherever the car went.”
Bob is survived by his seven children: Donna (John) Young of Collierville, TN; Judy (Tom) Kluse of Binghamton; John of Hornell; Nancy (Jerome) Brink- O’Connor of Hornell; Tom (Luann) Brink of Rochester; James (Kerry) Brink of Hilton Head, SC; and Christopher of Marietta, GA. He is also survived by his brother Donald (Lorna) of Almond, his eleven grandchildren, Tanya, Kirsten, Jonathan, Kate, Elizabeth, Kevin, Erica, Sarah, Andrew, Kerry, & Hannah, and eleven great-grandchildren. In addition to his wife Gloria, who died in 1996 after almost 50 years of marriage, he was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Erving, his great-granddaughter Kayla, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Bob’s wish was that memorial contributions be made to the building fund at the First Baptist Church, 28 Church St., Hornell where he was a lifelong and longest standing member. A memorial service will be held at the church at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 7, 2015, with Pastor Cedric Cooper officiating.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell is honored to serve the family of Robert G. Brink.
Online condolences or remembrances of Bob are welcomed at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.