Brinkman, George, Saginaw, Michigan

The family of George Brinkman celebrates the long life of their beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. After 97 years, George passed away on Saturday, June 25, 2011. They remember fondly his strong-willed and tenacious spirit, but most of all his kind, gentle and selfless heart. They take great comfort in knowing that he watches over them from Heaven, just as he did during his life. For all who knew him, George’s most endearing quality was that he lived his life in service to others – his family, friends, and those with whom he volunteered taking priority above self. Throughout his life, George accomplished much and was proud of many things, but none more than the loving family who surrounded him. He taught his sons to be strong, hard-working, and to love their families with all they have. He entertained and brought smiles to the faces of his grandchildren with his humor, and provided the perfect example of how best to live one’s life to the fullest to his great- grandchildren. His family was not the only beneficiary of his selfless nature and care. He touched the lives of numerous individuals at the Frankenmuth Lutheran Home and Saginaw Geriatric, where he volunteered for 25 years, even into his early 90’s. George loved playing euchre with residents, organizing games and other activities, and pushing the wheelchairs of those much younger than him. George was recognized for his volunteer efforts in 1998 as Volunteer of the Year for the State of Michigan. While his volunteer work and events with his family occupied much of his time, he was certain to take time to enjoy his love of gardening and woodworking. He was also very proud to have been a safe driver for 77 years. George was born in Bay City on December 31, 1913, the son of German-Russian immigrants, George and Lydia. He married Eleanor Holt in 1934, who would bless him with three loving sons. She preceded him in death after 59 years of marriage in 1993. Throughout his life, George held several different jobs, first working as a laborer through the WPA during the Depression, then Armor Meat Packing, the Yellow Cab Company, and General Motors. While George was proud of each of the jobs he held, none was a greater source of pride than his final job with the Bancroft Hotel, where he started as a doorman in the glory days of the city of Saginaw and eventually retired as manager. George is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Marilyn, his grandchildren Shelby (Gary) Kloha, Sandra (Bill) Nellett, Susan (Todd) Bridgewater, Robert (Donna) Brinkman, Jeff Brinkman, Lisa (Brad) Fleming, Mike Brinkman, Greg Brinkman, Paul Brinkman, and Doug (Julie) Brinkman, eleven great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his loving and devoted wife Eleanor, two sons Richard and Robert, his brothers Alex and Henry, and his sister Lydia. The family would like to say special thanks to Richard Allen and Joe and Karen York, who meant a great deal to George and whom he considered as close as family. They would also like to thank Hospice of Hope for the great care they showed to George at the end of his life. The funeral service will take place on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at the W. L. Case and Co. Funeral Chapel, 4480 Mackinaw Road. Rev. Stephen Starke will officiate with burial in Roselawn Memorial Gardens. Friends may call at the Chapel from 3:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the St. John, Christ the King Deficit Fund or the Hospice of Hope.