James H Brinkmann

October 16, 1929 ~ October 10, 2019 (age 89)


James H. Brinkmann died on October 10, 2019, just 6 days shy of his 90th birthday.  Jim was a devoted husband to Carole (Kye) for 64 years and loving father to Mark and Laurie (Soren).  He leaves behind five grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, a sister, and countless friends.  Jim is preceded in death by his parents and brother.

Jim was born and raised in Sayler Park, a suburb of Cincinnati, completed a Jesuit education, and earned both Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration in Marketing degrees from Xavier University.  His work took him across the country from Indianapolis and Atlanta to Los Angeles and Chicago before settling in St. Joseph, MI, where he and Kye lived for 36 years. He worked as an executive with Whirlpool Corporation for nearly four decades.  In 2017 they moved to Bluffton, SC, to be closer to their son and daughter-in-law, Kendell.

Jim served in the Army Artillery during the Korean War and was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the Bronze Star, and the United Nations Service Medal.  In retirement he co-founded and was treasurer for Lest We Forget-SW Michigan, an organization designed to honor America’s Veterans of Foreign Wars.  He worked tirelessly promoting  the annual battle re-enactments and educational activities.

Jim enjoyed cats, good food, and fine wines.  He loved to travel and was particularly fond of London and Northern Italy.  In addition, he was quite a tennis player and worked as a professional umpire.  Jim was a prolific family photographer and always had a camera bag on his shoulder.  He loved donuts and ice cream and was famous for his chocolate sodas.  A kind and gentle man with a good sense of humor, Jim never met a stranger.  His passing leaves an empty place in our hearts and lives.  He will be missed.

The family extends our gratitude to Tidewater Hospice and the staff at Bloom at Belfair Memory Care.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lest We Forget-SW Michigan ( or your local Humane Society.

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