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Beryl A. Brinkman

Beryl A. Brinkman

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June 13, 2007
Big news! The Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund totaled $4,280. Thank you to everyone for your donations. I just sent a check to Kathleen Rafiq's Wardak Projects in Afghanistan and will present Father Charles his half of the donations this weekend in Eugene at Marko's graduation party. Beryl and Artis Mary Spriggs had planned to surprise Marko for graduation and fly his brother over from Tanzania. Artis Mary followed through on their plans and Father Charles arrived on Saturday night. Marko was extremely surprised and very happy to see his brother once he got over the shock. We are missing Beryl not being part of the celebration, but feel her spirit is here and she's smiling....
June 13, 2007
It has now been over four months since Beryl passed away - I've found so much comfort in reading the entries in this guest book and in sharing with other friends memories of our dear friend, Beryl. I can't begin to convey just how much Beryl meant to me except to just say I loved her. She changed my life. Her friendship over the last 23 years was an amazing gift. We became friends while working for the Oregon State Scholarship Commission and a few years later, we became neighbors. Despite changes of jobs and retirement, our friendship only deepened. I miss her optimistic spirit, her sense of humor, her sense of adventure and her curry dinners, movie nights at the Bijou, sharing a glass of wine and hearing the "scoop" about everyone we know. She was the best listener I have ever met and like so many have said, she made you feel like you what you were saying, no matter how trivial, was the most important thing in the world. She had such respect for every person's thoughts and ideas. I will miss her every day of my life...
April 17, 2007
I tried to speak of you at your memorial in Eugene, but memories and loss overwhelmed me. I first met you when I was the PC recruiter at U of O in the early 80's. We spent the ensuing years doing PC things,parading in Eugene, cooking curry, trips to DC, and Berkeley , and you never gave up on me when it came to urging me to accompany you on all your other journeys. My family grew to include you in our hearts. Your travels became mine. Hors doerves at the Electric Station and movies at the Bijou had to do. West Cascade thrived and the National Conference bonded all of us together for the rest of our lives. Music, drumming, walking through our Eugene held us together and will never be forgotten. When I left Eugene to help my family farm in Idaho, you made it all the way here to see this beautiful land I love.You watched my children grow and became their friend. My son, Adrian, became a part of your family and now shares your home and memories, for which he is so grateful. Shine on, girl, I will always be looking for the next travel story and will have my curry ready for the next benefit dinner. Kwahari, tutaonana tana, Marsha Swartz and family
March 30, 2007
BERYL BRINKMAN IS GONE, SO BIG A LOSS!
She received me as a Fulbright Student from Tanzania, and was a foundation to my beginning of the M.A program at the University of Oregon. I can't understand that I will graduate with my M.A in Linguistics, in her absence. She always looked forward to seeing me graduate. This is one of the hardest moment in my life. She is the one who volunteered to host me, she introduced me to tons of friends from the first day of my arrival. I remember her, Kelcy, and Brendan waiting me at the Eugene Airport. It was 09/11/2004 as I flew from Portland to Eugene. No one knew another person between us. But they were holding a HUGE SIGN written in SWAHILI - "JAMBO MARKO" meaning hello Marko. I burst into tears from a distance! My other colleagues from other countries were surprised to see that. From that day I have been a friend to almost each of her friends. To name a few TRICIA, JEFF and KELCY; MICHAEL, RACHAEL, and LARY; DAVE, HANA and TRACY; JAMES CLOUTIER, DOROTH and PROF. SOPER, PATTI and WADE, WAYNE and WIFE, .......and of course ALL RETURNED PEACE CORPS of the WEST CASCADE. SHE DROVE TO PARTS OF CALIFORNIA, SHOWED ME PLACES AND FRIENDS. Our next plan was to drive to parts of WASHINGTON STATE
MY GOD, MISSING BERYL CAN BE COMPARED TO THE TIME IMMEDIATELY AFTER DEATH OF FOUNDER OF THE NATION, HIS EXCELLENCY, THE LATE MWALIMU JULIUS K. NYERERE. The nation was a bit shaken. Some people even thought there could be a state of instability, which has never been the case, and never will be, I hope.
The same way, this loss will be recovered by faith.
GOD BLESS BERYL, HER PARENTS, FAMILY, FRIENDS, HER TEACHERS, AND ALL PEOPLE OF PEACE AND LOVE IN THE WORLD. LONG LIVE EUGENE, LONG LIVE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
March 26, 2007
Her card read: Beryl Brinkman - International Pursuits...Indeed she pursued to help out internationally. I remember the first time she wrote me an email. I was introduced to her through an acquaintance I met at a dinner party in Bucharest, Romania. Tim learned that I was going to Eugene on a Fulbright Program and right away, he said I need not worry at all about going to an unknown place, that he had a friend there who would receive me and help me out if needed. His words were truly consoling and I was amused by the warmth Beryl wrote to me; she said she would be there at the airport to receive me and whereas she and a friend would identify me as a foreigner easily, I could identify them by the BIG smiles they would be wearing. I thought that was so cute and from that day onwards it was like having an older sister who steered, guided and helped me when the occasion arose. Not only that, through Beryl I met wonderful people like Tricia, Dorothy and Professor Dave, and Sharon, Sherrill, the list goes on. When I was invited to Turkey to be on the jury of an international cartoon competition, we had the awesome opportunity to meet up. It was wonderful and as usual, she had her group of international friends. We had a rollicking time in a wayside cafe talking and cracking jokes, typical to our backgrounds. It was an example of Unity in Diversiy. Then Beryl on her international advenures decided to attend my daughter's wedding in Islamabad. She was accompanied by her friend Therese and it was so much fun because we had taken their dress sizes beforehand and had their Pakistani outfits ready for the wedding. The theme colour for the October wedding was acqua and Beryl looked very stunning in the outfit she got to wear at Nazish's wedding. At the Hina ceremony the two friends joined us for the dance and taught all the Pakistani youngsters how to do the traditional American dance (I forget the name, but it wasn't Square Dance). Everybody enjoyed the dance party and Beryl clicked away on the camera, capturing the wedding she came to attend all the way from the U.S. She made many friends here. I cannot forget the trip we made to Portland in her car. On the way we started playing a game. My husband being a diplomat, we decided to name a country we had visited in our past. We took turns, but Beryl outdid me by many countries when I ran out of names! Not only was she international in her travels, but she was a Sufi as well, always at hand to help out people regardless of colour and creed. I can see her smiling from above and nodding with a halo on her head..."that's what Peace on Earth is all about Nigar"...and I nod back...
March 10, 2007
I met Beryl in ’92 when I worked for the National Peace Corps Association and she was on the board of directors. I’m sure there were a lot of great people in that West Cascade RPCV group, but how many groups have you been part of with lots of great people that just withered because there was no spark plug to keep it going? Beryl was that spark plug. She made fun happen.

Beryl was a great leader. She denied it, of course. Academics have written reams about servant-leaders, but Beryl was the role model. She was too modest to take credit, but as I got to know her better, I could see how she just plunged in and made things happen.

She and I traveled in Oregon after I did a workshop there. She visited me in Michigan and I visited her in the much more exciting Turkey. What a great way to see a country: Beryl had done the leg work, made the friends, scoped out the bus routes, identified the good restaurants! It was a great trip—one I never would have made without her invitation.

She was a role model of fearlessness, too. Bus through the Middle East alone? No problem. Visit countries barely out of war? No big deal. Travel where you don’t speak the language? No sweat.

Beryl was the warp and woof in the web of life—Queen of Networking. We are held together by the tapestry she wove.

The last journey came too soon.
March 10, 2007
I met Beryl in 2000 when she came by my house to stay the night as part of the Peace Corps Hospitality network. She arrived carrying a bottle of wine. Unfortunately I had previous plans that night and only got to spend a few moments with her. Years later my husband and I stayed at her house in Eugene (she wasn't there but an Indian exchange student was!) I thoroughly enjoyed her travelogues and was so surprised to hear of her passing. And yet... I would love to go to the end of days like she did, having just returned from a marvelous trip with my brother and yet in my own home with other loved ones near me. Rest in peace, Beryl. I miss you already.
March 05, 2007
In September of 2006, I was invited to help celebrate my Uncle Loris' 95th birthday in Richland, Washington. I was told that some of my cousins would be there. I wouldn't have missed this for the world and was looking forward to re-connecting with cousins that I hadn't seen since the sixties. It was such a pleasure to see all of them and Beryl was a part of that group. We were only together for a few days, but it was wonderful. It was decided that we should refer to our small group of four as the B-Girls! That "B" was for Brinkman, but we would have loved other interpretations. I remember thinking that Beryl was an adventurer when she first went to Afghanistan. How right I was. How proud you all must be for having known and loved her. I only wish that we had kept in touch and that I would have been on the list of "esteemed correspondents" sooner and longer. She has indeed left her mark on the world
March 04, 2007
I am one of the vaccinators from Afghan 11. We will miss you at our 40tieth reunion this year but you will be with us in spirit.
February 20, 2007
You Go Girl
When I said this a couple of years ago to Beryl I wanted her to hit the road again, let the Eugene RPCVs find their way without her and set an example for those of us who try to lead volunteer groups - for too long sometimes. I first met Beryl at the 1986 Peace Corps Conference in Eugene; 20 years ago when the Idaho RPCVs were chartered as an affiliate group. During the first day's events the new groups were announced and welcomed to the National Council; Idaho's was the only one that received startled gasps, and then a rousing cheer of appreciation for our founding. We have been part of the Northwest groups that relied on Beryl as a representative, leader, and role model in all things Peace Corps. And we will honor her this year at our regional campout near Mt. St. Helens since that was her choice of campsite for our annual gathering, and she is sure to be missed.

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Beryl (far right) with Idaho, Oregon and Washington RPCVs at Aug. 2006 Campout
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