MaryAnn Gloria (Kouba) Brinkman – Was born December 25, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois where she attended and finished grade school. During those formative years, MaryAnn learned to love books and Ice Skating. Her skating idol was Sonja Henie. MaryAnn would spend her winter free time with friends at Norwoord Park just a few blocks from her childhood home on Navarre Avenue where the city would flood a community sports field to create an outdoor ice rink. The field was lighted so she would spend hours and hours on the ice. She loved to be at the end of a human whip where she would speed across the ice. MaryAnn dreamt of being an ice skater and in her own words described her love of skating as, she “felt like she was floating”. Due to the circumstances of her family her dream of being a professional skater would remain a fond dream. After graduating high school, MaryAnn moved from Chicago to Oakland, California with her parents (Margaret and Karl Kouba) and worked at the Alameda Naval Air Station during World War II. It was there that she met and married a Sailor in the US Navy, Wesley Lewis Brinkman. MaryAnn and Wes were married on March 23, 1946 in San Francisco, California. They lived in various locations in the East Bay Area, eventually settling in Pleasant Hill where they raised a family of 6 boys while forming life-long friendships at church and in the community. MaryAnn and Wes were patriots at heart, loved our country and taught their children to do the same. They were very involved in the community of Pleasant Hill during our nation’s bi-centennial celebration.
MaryAnn was a breast cancer survivor and impressed those who knew her as being an incredibly strong woman. MaryAnn died peacefully on June 28, 2020 at the age of 94 in Pleasant Hill, California in a care home located just several blocks from where she and Wes raised their family. She is survived by her 6 sons – Fredrick K. Brinkman (Joannie), Stephen R. Brinkman (Julie), James L. Brinkman (Donna), David L. Brinkman (Gloria), Mark T. Brinkman (Suzette), and Wesley A. Brinkman (Kenna), 18 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren.
Mom was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Pleasant Hill Second Ward and will forever be remembered for the love she had for her sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. While Dad often worked two jobs to provide for the family, mom not only took care of her 6 boys but worked graveyard shifts as a nurse’s aide to help with the family finances. Mom always worked extra hard on her birthday because it was Christmas Day and she and Dad always made Christmas special. Mom shared with us how she felt so fortunate to be born on Christmas Day and how that strengthened her faith in Christ. By today’s material standards we did not have a lot, but what we did have was a wonderful, faith-filled mother (and father) who loved and cared for us, taught us right from wrong, and “kicked tail” when needed. God bless you Mom! These few words cannot adequately provide a summarization of your life’s work and experiences, nor express the familial connection of love we all feel for you. Love which can only be forged through your years of selfless devotion to Dad and to all of us. Our feelings run deep. We are certain that you have done much more for us than we can possibly know. We are thankful for you. We miss you; we miss your love, we miss the fabulous meals you cooked and so much more. But we take comfort in knowing that you are once again with Dad and that families can be forever. Until we meet again.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, July 3, 2020 at Oakmont Memorial Park – 2099 Reliez Valley Road, Lafayette, CA 94549 at 12:00 PM. Interment will follow at the same location.
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