Tracer

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Tribute to Herbert Leo Brinkley

Herbert Leo Brinkley, December 12, 1921 - April 12, 2012

Herbert Leo Brinkley was born 12 December 1921 in Seymour, Wayne County, Iowa. He was the son of Clarence Herbert Brinkley and Mabel Fern Webber. He died 12 April 2012, in Corydon, Wayne County, Iowa.

Herbert was my second cousin, once removed. We met when I traveled back to Iowa for the FGS Conference [a genealogy conference]. I had flown in on September 10, 2011, arriving early to Quad Cities for the conference in Davenport, Iowa. I had so much Iowa research to do on my Brinkley's I needed that extra time. The next morning I rose to the news on CNN, planes flying into the towers in New York City, and the news telling me that all planes were being grounded. I was in Iowa for the duration now! It is the most memorable conference I've ever been to in all these years. I was going to be staying in Iowa for a time. After the conference I had already planned to go do onsite research through a good part of Iowa. One of the people I was to meet up with was Herbert Brinkley and his wife Norma.

Herbert and Norma were wonderful. When we met they had already copied many photos for me as well as funeral handouts, obituaries and family stories. I had hit gold! Then they took me on my own guided tour of Wayne and Appanoose County, Iowa. They showed me every farm my ancestors had owned and worked and we walked the land. I could feel them there with us that day. Then Herbert took me to the cemeteries and walked me to the stones he knew I'd come to see. I spent three days there going through all the cemeteries, the court house, the genealogy library and of course visiting with Herbert and Norma. We met for lunch each day so that I could tell them what I found which sparked more memories and sent me to other places for more documents. It was a wonderful visit. When I left Herbert was in tears. When I asked why he stated simply, "you're the only one who's ever come back."

I kept in touch with them through all the ensuing years. Every research trip I've taken I wrote Herbert to let him know my discoveries. He loved the genealogy, and he loved knowing his connection to it all. Norma wrote at Christmas [2011] that she had to put Herbert in a care facility and he had entered into Hospice. It wasn't shocking when he passed but it saddens me greatly. He was the only Brinkley that was as excited about our genealogy as I was. I'll miss sharing with him in the future.

Photo taken in Centerville, Appanoose County, Iowa, September 2001.

Herbert Leo Brinkley, 1942, Plano, Iowa, w/horses Doc & Nell

Here's a link to his online obituary: http://hosting-24658.tributes.com/show/herbert-leo-brinkley-93624454

It was wonderful to know you Herbert. Thank you for your time and your sharing, it meant as much to me as it did to you. With Love. L-



2 comments:

  1. Isn't it nice when you meet extended family who are as interested in the genealogy of your mutual families as you are? Sounds like Herbert & Norma were very helpful with your research. I'm sure you made Herbert's day when he received one of your letters in the mail giving him the latest update. Nice tribute!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for stopping by! Yes, they were the answers to so many family questions, and continued to be through more than 10 years. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to have had them in my life.

    Wish we could all know that kind of joy!

    ReplyDelete