ROBERT ARLINGTON BRINK "A Life Well Lived" Bob, with his children by his side, passed away on December 22, 2013 after a brief illness. He was 83 years young. He joins his father, Myron, and his mother, Maude, in heaven. Born on September 27, 1930 in Cebu, Philippines, Bob, along with his brother, John William, and his sister, Pamela Jane, lived an idyllic tropical life as children of a savvy entrepreneur and his well-respected wife, the superintendent of schools. That life was shattered on December 8, 1941 with the outbreak of World War II
. For the next three years, Bob's family became "guests" of the Japanese Imperial Army. It was a harsh and unforgiving life with beatings, back-breaking labor, and starvation as daily visitors. Thankfully, Bob, his family, and 2,142 other allied civilian and military interns were valiantly rescued on February 23, 1945 by the combined US 11th Army Airborne Division and Filipino guerrilla task force later immortalized as "The Raid at Los Bands." Since the Japanese had destroyed their home and stolen all of their belongings, the family reluctantly sailed to America to start a new life in Whittier, California. Bob would relate later that for nine months after his liberation, he always felt hungry no matter how much he ate. He graduated from Whittier High School in 1949 and afterward attended Fullerton Junior College while serving in the 6th Army Reserve. With the onset of the Korean War
in 1951, he joined the US Air Force. He served with distinction at Norton Air Force base proud of the fact that he kept the "Inland Empire safe from Communism." After his discharge, he obtained a degree in History and English from Whittier College and followed in the footsteps of his mother and beloved Aunty Mabel and became a teacher. During this time, he married Barbara Lee Mathison and had three children: Robert Arlington II, Jennifer Ann [Alpizar], and John William "Bill." He quickly rose through the ranks at the Lowell Joint School District in the early sixties while working on and eventually attaining a Master of Arts in Education from Whittier College in 1965. In 1967, Bob and Barbara divorced and Bob accepted a job as Vice Principal of San Jacinto Junior/Senior High School. Soon thereafter, he was promoted to principal of Hyatt Elementary and eventually became principal of Monte Vista Middle School where he remained until 1979. Many a former student would later comment that "Mr. Brink gave me a swat . . . but I deserved it." In 1979, Bob accepted a position with Al Hotly Establishment in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, as a contract negotiator. During his years in the Middle East, he made wonderful friends, visited interesting places (including his boyhood home of Cebu) and regaled everyone with tales both real and imagined. In 1988, Bob retired to the quiet life in Las Vegas, Nevada where he spent his sunset years managing investment properties, reading, watching TV, making friends, and being a grandfather to Robert Arlington Brink III and Michael Alpizar. After heart valve replacement surgery in October 2011, Bob moved to Hemet to be closer to his son and became a resident (some would say character) of "The Camelot" which he enjoyed immensely: "What's not to love? I live in a castle!" Throughout his life, Bob was proud to be an American, a Veteran and a Republican. Bob will be greatly missed by his family, friends and all of the wonderful people he touched during his brief but shining time here. It has been said that it's not the years in your life but the life in your years that really matters . . . Bob truly lived a life well lived. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to an exceptional relief agency dedicated to responding to natural and man-made disasters world-wide: Rescue Task Force, P.O. Box 25070, San Bernardino, CA 92406 (909) 804-8205 www.rescuetaskforce.org
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 10:00 am at Miller-Jones Mortuary, 1501 West Florida Avenue, Hemet, CA 92543 (951) 658-3161 with a reception immediately following. Graveside services ill be held on Monday, January 6, 2014 at 11:00 am at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Boulevard, CA 92518.