July 19, 1957 — October 23, 2019
Robert W. Brinkley Jr. (Bob) was born on July 19, 1957, in Torrance Calif. He was a longtime resident and business owner in Hermiston, Oregon. Bob left his earthly journey doing what he loved to do. God called Bob home on October 23, 2019, at the age of 62.
Bob was on a hunt early that morning, and in his view was a large herd of elk coming up on them. If you knew Bob, you knew there was nothing more thrilling to his heart. One his favorite things to say was, “Get ready, here they come.”
Bob seemed to some to be a little rough around the edges at times, but he had a heart of gold. Bob had a very private relationship with his God and always said that being in the mountains was where he felt his presence the most.
Bob Brinkley opened Columbia Auto Body 36 years ago. He obtained his business degree in auto body repair at Treasure Valley College in Ontario, Oregon, where he also played college football. Bob was a smart, dedicated, successful businessman who was always willing to help others. Bob was very generous to his family, friends and his community.
Bob was an athlete in his day. He felt it was important to support his community, and that he did. Back in the early days he sponsored American Legion baseball, men’s bowling leagues, Hermiston Little League and Grid Kids Football. He always sponsored his buddies and young men in the community, making sure they had a basketball or softball team to play on. He was proud to make that happen.
Over the years Bob also put on annual fishing derbyies during the winter holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. He made sure that on long, cold, winter days his relatives, friends and anyone who wanted to participate had a chance to win some big bucks by catching the biggest fish. He loved seeing people have a good time.
For the past 15 years Bob’s love of golf led him to put his heart into making sure that the Hermiston High School golf program did not lose its steam. He said, “We have got to do something here to make this program stay alive for these kids.” That’s when the tide changed for Hermiston High School golf program.
Bob rallied parents, fellow golfers and the athletic director together and said, “We need fundraisers for this program, why not put on tournaments?” With Bob’s vision the first annual Turkey Shoot Golf Tournament began. The Turkey Shoot Golf Tournament is now in its 15th year. In memory of Bob, the tournament will now be “The Bob Brinkley Memorial Turkey Shoot Golf Tournament.”
Bob loved anything that had to do with being outdoors: hunting, fishing, camping and golfing with family and friends. For the past several years he fell in love with sprint boat racing. Years back one of Bob’s best friends, Rodney Cox, and his son Robbie built a sprint boat that has the only Ford racing engine in U.S. Bob was hooked. He decided he wanted to be a part of Obsession 049s team. Bob became a dedicated sponsor, partly due to the speed of the boats, but mainly because of the love he has for the team’s family.
Bob made relationships with many people. He had that gift. Bob gave out of the kindness of his heart. He was loved by his family and friends and will be sorrowfully missed.
Bob is preceded in death by his mother, Patricia Wilson Brinkley of Fossil, Ore. Bob leaves behind the love of his life, his wife Karla Johnson-Brinkley of Hermiston; his sons Steven Brinkley of Hermiston and his wife Angalena, Taylor Johnson of Spokane, Washington, and Aaron Johnson of Hermiston. Bob also leaves behind four wonderful grandchildren: Garret, Kaylee and D’Laynee Brinkley, and Braven Johnson, all of Hermiston; Bob’s father, Wayne Brinkley of Libby, Montana; and his two siblings, James Brinkley of Prineville, Oregon, and his sister-in-law Kathy, and Joseph Brinkley of Terrebonne, Oregon, and his sister-in-law Wendy.
Bob has many aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews and cousins that meant the world to him.
In honor of Bob there will be a celebration of his life on November 30 from 2-7pm at Skip and Sherry Walcli’s Farm, 32697 E. Loop Road, Hermiston, Oregon.
Please share memories of Bob with his family at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com.
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon, is in care of arrangements.