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Mine Brightwell


1924 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
June 30, 2018
Mine Brightwell, a child of God by the action of God's grace, which is received through faith in the finished work of atonement performed by Christ on the cross, as foretold especially in Isaiah Chapter 53, passed away on June 30, 2018. Mine was born in Japan; graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University with a degree in English literature; worked as a translator for the U.S. Adjutant General at Camp Zama, during the post-war U.S. occupation of Japan; fell in love with a young American soldier named Charles Brightwell; married that soldier and followed him to Texas (imagine the culture shock), then Germany, then back to Texas. Mine loved Charles faithfully until his passing, though their differences in temperament and culture put pressure on the union. She and Charles had only one child, whom they loved profoundly. Mine is survived by that child, who is eternally grateful to God for her. She is also survived by nieces and nephews here in the U.S. and in Japan.

Mine was a student of the Bible, constantly striving for a deeper knowledge of God. She was a member of St. Matthew's United Methodist Church (in San Antonio) for many years, until the frailty of advanced age made it difficult for her to participate.

Mine was an artist at heart, expressing herself through writing, singing, playing the piano, and quilting. Her favorite hymn was the Japanese version of "Unto the Hills Around Do I Lift Up", with tune written by C. Purday. Her favorite poem was Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar". Her favorite food was sushi, with green tea of course.

Mine was intensely energetic and a formidable enemy of foolishness.

For instance, during her naturalization exam to become a U.S. citizen, she surprised and delighted the examiner with her ability to instantaneously quote from memory vast portions of the U.S. Constitution. As another example, being a lifelong learner of English, she really didn't like it when English speakers butcher their own language. While she was kind to every- one, it wasn't easy to gain admission to her friendship.

Mine's parents were first generation converts to Christianity, in response to the evangelical outreach of Baptist missionaries in Iwate- ken, Japan. Mine's father made a living breeding horses, and passed away when Mine was just a toddler. Mine's mother came from a line of soy sauce manufact- urers, but made her living by publishing and writing for a regional journal called "Josei Iwate," which translates as "Women of Iwate".

Mine's husband, Charles, was the son of a Texas farmer, and the grandson of a circuit riding Baptist preacher. He was captivated by her charming demeanor and radiant smile, her inner and outer beauty, and her horn rimmed glasses. He was a tall skinny drink of water, at least for the first few years.

Mine's son is a specialist at helping people acquire patents on their inventions. He owes a profound debt of gratitude for her firm discip- line, consistent exhortation and nurturing love. He will sorely miss her loss, but has great consolation in the knowledge that she is rejoicing in the presence of the LORD.

Mine Brightwell, a child of God by grace through faith.
Published in Express-News on July 10, 2018
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