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October 23, 1934 - August 9, 2020
Service Date August 13, 2020
Graveside services will be 10:00 a.m., Thursday, August 13, 2020 at Pine Lawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Monument Health Home Plus Hospice.
Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements and condolences may be conveyed to the family through their website, behrenswilson.com.
James Melvin Brink, 85, Rapid City, died at home on August 9th due to chronic health issues and was surrounded by his family. He was born in Pierre, SD on October 23, 1934 to Jennie (Speer) and Gilbert Brink. He had 3 older siblings; a brother and 2 sisters.
James was raised in his childhood home of Owanka, SD and summers were spent at his grandmother’s homestead south of Ft. Pierre, SD. He had many wonderful memories of his time on the homestead with his uncles Dutch and Rusty. His mother died before he was 10 years old but his adult sisters did a great job of helping to raise him along with his hard working dad and uncles. By all accounts, Jimmy’s childhood and young adult escapades are still mostly hidden from his children but occasionally a story would be told by him or someone from his childhood which has led us to assume he was a bit of a wild child. James was drafted into the US Army in 1957 and prior to being stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC, he married his lifetime love Betty Chapman, in New Underwood on January 2, 1958. He was Honorably Discharged in 1962 and is a member of the American Legion.
James was initiated into the Plumbers and Pipefitter’s Union in 1954 as a Building Trades Journeyman Steamfitter and is a lifetime member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union #192. He is a former Business Agent of Local #698 which has now merged with Local #192 out of Cheyenne, WY. James was a staunch advocate for worker’s rights; fair wages and conditions, health and pension, safety and more. Up until 2 years ago, he was an active member of the West River Building Trades of which he was past president. His children have great memories of the large Labor Day celebration parades and picnics in Rapid City which have unfortunately became a thing of the past, but his advocacy never waned. Betty gave birth to Doug while James was in the Army and when he was in the Army Reserves, they moved to Northern California where James G. (Jr.) was born. Eight months pregnant with Jenny, they moved back to Rapid in 1960 where they remained and soon had their fourth and final child, Michele. He had a big soft heart for many different charities and animals; the house was never without a stray cat that became family.
James is survived by his 4 children, 4 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews to whom he is known as Uncle Jimmy. His children, who are forever grateful for his love and support and will miss him tremendously are; sons Douglas and James G., Rapid City; Jenny and wife Patty of Helena, MT; Michele and husband Matt Gluhosky of Rapid City; his grandchildren meant more to him than they will ever know; Cassie Marie Brink, Portland, OR; Spencer Roy Brink, Rapid City; Luke James Gluhosky, Rapid City and Laramie, WY and Ellie Anna Gluhosky of Rapid City and currently residing in Seattle, WA. James was preceded in death by his loving wife, Betty, his parents and his siblings, Esther Waterson; Lois Manning and Eugene ‘Butch’ Brink.