Evelyn Pinckert Brier
EVELYN PINCKERT BRIER Pinky Brier has taken her final flight. The pioneer aviatrix -- a contemporary of Amelia Erhardt -- ascended into to the heavens in which she spent so much of her earthly life, on Jan. 20, 2008. The well-known San Bernardino resident was nearly 99 when she passed away at Redlands Community Hospital. Born Evelyn Pinckert, on April 12, 1909, in Medford, WI, "Pinky" had a life-long passion for aviation. She worked her way through flight school and paid for plane rentals by working at the Gas Company while a high school student. The effort paid off. She became the first American woman licensed to be a flight and aeroba tics instructor. Pinky claimed to have logged some 70,000 hours in the air and also holds the record for the most take-offs and landings at LAX. Pinky was among the first women to be invited to join the Women's Air Force Service Pilots in the World War II era and flew many military aircraft including B-17's. She purchased Tri-City Airport in San Bernardino in 1938, expanding it and creating a burgeoning business on the site. She took pride in the fact that there were never any accidents or crashes at her airport. Tri-City was owned in the 1930's by Joe Briar. The Army Air Corps pilot, became her husband. When health problems grounded him,, she became the sole family pilot, and he was her ground crew. In 2004 the woman who loved to fly and to encouraged other women to take to the skies, formed the Brier Foundation. It provides scholarships to young women interested in careers in aviation and other forms of transportation. She is survived by Victoria Pinckert Rafa of Newport Beach, CA, Julie Pinckert of Lo s Angeles, Erny Pinckert of So. Calif., Rick Pinckert of Los Angeles, Warren Pinckert, Jr. on Concorde, CA, Tony Pinckert Bancroft of Capistrano Beach, CA, Byron Pinckert of Long Beach, CA, Sandy Pinckert of Sequim, WA; great nephew, Dr. Victor Rafa of Rancho Santa Margarita, as well as several other great-nieces & great-nephews. Pinky Brier will be laid to rest Thursday, at Montecito Memorial Park, 3502 E. Washington St., Colton. A reception will follow.
Published by San Bernardino County Sun on Jan. 23, 2008.
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9 Entries
I am sister of Margaret Beulah Fuller, Gonzales. Sandra Pinkert and my sister Margie were very close. Curt and Pearl Pinckert were a second Dad and Mother to Margie Fuller. Sandra (Sandy) as we called her grew up together and kept close and still keep in touch.. What a beautiful and special family the Pinckerts were also to our Family.. So very blessed they all are and have been.. My husband and I James L. Walker, now living in Lompoc, California, send our condolences to you and Family of Evelyn Pinckert Brier.. We keep you all in our prayers.. Sincerely Jane Fuller Walker.. February 2, 2008
Jane, Eleanor Fuller Walker
February 2, 2008
Pinky was a wonderful person to many of us and she will be greatly missed..... The Wright Family
Gayle Daub
January 28, 2008
My Dad, Jack Nelson, loved airplanes and taught me that love too. Pinky and Joe were a part of that education and I remember running around the airport on many weekends when I was a kid with my sister and my two brothers while my Dad worked on radios or other equipment or just talked with them and the other pilots. I remember the flights Pinky took us on and all the “imaginary” flights we took behind the cockpit when Pinky would let us sit in the planes. “Tango Charlie” was always a big hit with us and so were all the dogs we would play with. Pinky and Joe always had time for us kids and made us feel welcome at the airport any time we were there. To this day I still have a love for flying and feel so close to my Dad when I am in a small plane flying with friends! I know that he and Joe and Pinky are looking down and smiling from the clouds saying “Good flight!” Thank you for all your inspiration to me and my family. We will miss you Pinky!
Beth Nelson-Katzman
January 24, 2008
I "know" Pinky Brier through her husband, who is celebrated on the website, www.dmairfield.org, along with the other pilots who landed and signed the Register at the old Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. Joe Brier landed at the Airfield flying a Boeing P-12-E in February 1932. He signed on page 182.

Forty-one of Pinky's sisters are also in the Register: O'Donnell, Barnes, Earhart, Harkness, et al.

Each time we lose one of these pioneers, it is like having a library burn to the ground.
G.W. Hyatt
January 24, 2008
Our family had a wonderful and long association with Pinky (and Joe, too). My husband, Jack Nelson, worked with Pinky and Joe at the airport-mostly on electronics. Pinky took our younger son, Robert, to LAX to visit his aunt and picked him up a few days later and brought him back to Tri City. A big thrill for a youngster. Robert spent a lot of time at the airport with his dad and Pinky always made a fuss over him. Our older son Mark became reaquainted with Pinky after he finished his education and began a career at LaVerne Univ. He talks about all the stray dogs she would take in. Both of our daughters, Nancy and Beth, were in touch with her over the years, especially after Joe died. When she was in the process of building her office/home on Brier Dr., I helped her with some of the bookeeping. She was very generous to all of us, especially with her time. I loved to go there and see the cars (especially the DeLorean) and "Tango Charlie" who would always amuse us with the comment - "I'm Tango Charlie; I can talk, can you fly?" I too remember the "old" airport with the restaurant on site. When my father-in-law was visiting us from Indiana, we would always take him there for lunch. He loved it! Pinky and Joe were a great team. Their vision brought many good things to the community. They are missed, and will be long remembered for the people they were and their good deeds. Rest in peace, Joe and Pinky.
Virginia Nelson - Brophy
January 23, 2008
FOR ONE YEAR, I WORKED FOR PINKY IN 1962 AS ONE OF HER PILOTS JUST BEFORE BEING HIRED BY DELTA AIR LINES. LITTLE DID I KNOW AT THE TIME THAT FLYING FOR HER WOULD BE SOME OF THE MOST ADVENTUROUS AND EXCITING OF MY FLYING CAREER. SHE IS A LEGEND AND WILL BE MISSED.
WILLIAM IPPOLITO
January 23, 2008
"Pinky" was a very special woman. I remember the 1st Tri City Airport before the freeway took out the parking lot and some of the hangers. They had the restaurant and the tower right close to the main road then. She was always busy taking people somewhere or bringing them back. and the place was normaly packed. I remember when she flew Ike from LAX to Palm Springs, that was a big deal in those days.
Pamela Borrell
January 23, 2008
Pinky was a true "one of a kind" and an excellent pilot and a very good friend. Her friendly "hello" and with a hard punch to my arm were her usual greeting. There were a lot of pilots who flew from Tri-City who will never forget our "Pinky"
Archie Caldwell
January 23, 2008
I knew Pinky from childhood. She was great friends with my parents, Lowell and Nancy Smith. She and my Father flew together many, many times. She flew me with my Mother to meet her sister, Jean Dixon, when I was 19. We landed at LAX among the huge jets. Everyone in the Tower knew her. Dad and I met with her a few years ago, and took some photos of she and Dad.
She was a most amazing woman. God bless her.
Gary Wenkle Smith
January 23, 2008
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