Gary was born on March 28, 1946 to Melvin and Shirlee Brink. A lifetime resident of Milwaukie, Oregon, he attended St. John the Baptist grade school and graduated from Jesuit High School in 1964. Gary was a ROTC graduate at Oregon State University where he met the love of his life, Jeannette Davis. They married in 1968 and recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. Upon graduation from OSU, Gary entered the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant and was assigned as a Medical Service Officer. He was an Honor graduate of the US Army Rotary Wing Flight and Basic Officer Course. He served in Vietnam 1969-1970 as a medical evacuation pilot with DMZ Dustoff, 237th Medical Detachment Air Ambulance where he flew 890 combat hours and rescued 2500 injured soldiers. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star and numerous Air Medals with Valor. He went on to command 2 Army Medical Companies, 2 Dustoff units, introduced military air ambulance service to the civilian market, acted as the Aviation Officer of operations for the Army Medical Command in Europe and graduated from the Command and General Staff College. He developed lifelong relationships with those he served alongside and flew 4100 total hours earning the distinguished Master Aviator Wings.
Upon retiring from the military, Gary and his family returned to Milwaukie, OR where he began his second career as a Financial Advisor, spending the next 30 years building individual financial portfolios and retirement strategies. He successfully completed his career in 2017 as a very respected and highly regarded manager.
Gary is survived by his wife; three children, Kristina Hopp, Karen Hiatt and Jack Brink; seven beloved grandchildren; and his brother, Paul Brink. His smile was contagious and his love for his family abundant. He enjoyed nothing more than his travels to visit friends and family in an endless goal to create memories for everyone he loved. His life was a life of service to everyone he knew. He served as President of the Portland Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and is a life member of the Dustoff Association. He was dedicated to his Catholic faith and highly involved in St. John the Baptist parish and school. We will remember him for his selfless devotion to his family, love for the beach, clamming, geocaching, and volksmarches.
We will celebrate Gary’s life with a Mass and reception at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on July 10th at 10:30 a.m., followed by interment at Willamette National Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Gary asked that donations be made to:
Military Officers Association of America Scholarship Fund
PO Box 1824, Merrifield VA 22116-9917