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1952 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
BRINTON William David Brinton, 64, passed away after a six month battle with lung cancer on Monday, June 19, 2017 surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Catherine O'Connell Brinton; two children - Caroline O'Connell Brinton and Leslie Brinton Bicksler (Jeff); and was Pops to three grandchildren - Luke Brinton Graham (8), Adams McRae Graham (6), and Virginia Reiley Bicksler (2). He is predeceased by his mother Jane Dallimore Brinton and his father Harry Edgar Brinton. Pops was a regular instructor and opponent of his children and then grandchildren in the games of chess and Risk, teaching them a love of strategy, integrity, and good gamesmanship through this unparalleled example. He helped teach Luke how to ride his bike, sponsored Adams' t-ball team in the name of Scenic Jacksonville, and was Virginia's favorite tickle monster. Pops was an avid reader to his grandchildren and read everything to them from his childhood favorites to Aliens Love Underpants, a nod to his love of science fiction and humor. He and the boys would quiz each other on world capitals, instilling a sense of curiosity and respect of the world and all of its citizens and cultures. Most importantly, Pops demonstrated to his grandchildren daily how to use their gifts in pursuit of the common good through action and hard work. Born on September 19, 1952, in Kansas City, Bill moved to Jacksonville in 1959 when his father became the Director of the Jacksonville Public Libraries. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1970, the University of Virginia in 1964 and earned his law degree from the University of Florida in 1977. Following law school, Bill joined the Jacksonville law firm Freeman Richardson in 1977. He founded Allen, Brinton, Simmons & McCarthy in 1988 which was later acquired by Rogers Towers in 2000 where he practiced as a litigator and preeminent national expert on sign regulation and the First Amendment. As a teenager, Bill was fascinated by the 1968 consolidation of city government, and spent hours reading the newly created city charter. He learned that the city charter provided for citizen-amendments and later led successful petition drives to amend the city charter to prohibit billboards (1987), limit City Council members to two terms (1991) and protect trees (2000), all of which were approved overwhelmingly by the voters. Bill served as an active and effective member of numerous civic organizations and causes, serving as a past board member and President on Leadership Jacksonville, Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., Jacksonville Bar Association, The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida, and Tree Hill Nature Center. He also served on the boards for City Beautiful Jax (formerly Jaxpride), the city's Jacksonville Landscape Commission, Scenic America, Citizens for a Scenic Florida, Scenic Jacksonville, the city's Charter Revision Commission, and founded Friends of the Library organizations for the Murray Hill, Brentwood and Dallas Graham branch libraries. Throughout his years of community service, Bill received numerous recognitions and awards, including Lawyer of the Year in 1995 from the Financial News and Daily Record; the International Municipal Lawyers Association's Amicus Service Award (twice, in 2015 and 2017); the Milestone Award for Citizen Advocacy from Jacksonville Community Council, Inc.; the Prize for Civic Engagement from the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida; the Mimi and Lee Adams Environmental Award; the Keep Jacksonville Beautiful Jake Godbold Award; the 2014 Mayor's Environmental Award; Greenscape's Canopy Award, Scenic America's Distinguished Advocacy Award for Scenic Beauty and Law; and the Cynthia Pratt McLaughlin Medal for environmental protection from The Garden Club of America. Bill was blessed to spend his life in the embrace of the O'Connell family enjoying FSU football games, Alligator Point, St. Patrick's Day, and large family holiday gatherings. He is survived by his mother and father-in-law Juliette Demetree O'Connell and Robert Patrick O'Connell. His sisters and brothers-in-law, Cynthia Finney (Mark), Michael O'Connell, Juliette Riley, Lisa Christopher (Reid) and Patrick O'Connell (Susan); and Uncle to nine nieces and nephews, as well as seven great nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his stepmother Ann Brinton and step sister Diane Greenwald; and his dear cousins Liza Moore, Steve Moore (Martha) and Mike Moore (Ellen). Honorary pallbearers; Graham Allen, Tracey Arpen, Hank Coxe, Rachel Cocciolo, John Crescimbeni, Claude Davidson, Jack Milne, Michael Moore, Steve Moore, Michael O'Connell, Patrick O'Connell and Rob Rivers. A celebration of Bill's life will be held with a Catholic Mass at St. Matthews Catholic Church at 10:30 AM on Thursday, June 22. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Scenic Jacksonville Endowment Fund, c/o the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, 245 Riverside Avenue, Jacksonville, FL, 32202. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Chapel, 4801 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32207 www.hardagegiddensoaklawnchapel.com (904)737-7171
Published in the Florida Times-Union from June 20 to June 21, 2017
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