William Richard Brink, M.D., 94, died peacefully on Monday Nov. 4, 2013, at Good Samaritan Society in Louisville, Ky.
Born in Williamsport, son of Anna and Claude Brink, Bill and his brothers loved playing baseball and softball; going for a swim at Memorial Park or Fountain Beach; and working part-time jobs at Lycoming Dairy and L.L. Stearns and Sons.
A graduate of Williamsport High School, Dickenson Junior College, Penn State University (First Honors, Phi Beta Kappa), he continued his education at Havard, receiving his master's degree. His doctorate was completed at Duke Medical School in 1946.
Dr. William Richard Brink
Dr. William Richard Brink
After serving a rotating internship at Williamsport Hospital from April 1947 to December 1947, Bill went back to the Armed Services January 1948 to December 1949 (first stint was for medical school). During this time, he was appointed Director of Streptococcal Disease Laboratory at Francis E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyo. His team developed the method of prevention of post-streptococcal complications, primarily Rheumatic Fever. For this incredible accomplishment, the team not only won a Presidental Citation (1950), but was also awarded the Albert Lasker Award in Medicine for outstanding research in medicine, which was awarded in 1954.
After discharge from the Army as a captain, Bill continued his graduate studies in medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he became a Fellow and Assistant in Medicine.
During his time in the Army in Wyoming, Bill met the love of his life, Margene Rudnick. They married Nov. 17, 1949. Finishing up at the Mayo Clinic, Bill and Margene settled in Williamsport to start his practice in Cardiology and Internal Medicine. For 33 years he practiced, 29 of those sharing office space with his great friend, Dr. Matt Mansuy.
His years in Williamsport with Margene were very busy raising eight children. His life was full of so many wonderful friends, great travel, rounds of golf at the Williamsport Country Club. Bill and Margene loved to entertain in their beautiful home, having many memorable parties.
Bill's other passions included his dog, Orpheus, baseball, Penn State football, playing bridge, reading (especially about World War II and history), and collecting Winston Churchill memorabilia.
Professionally during this time, Bill presided on many boards and held impressive positions. His service to Williamsport Hospital and Divine Providence Hospital spanned from 1953 to 1987. During that time, he was Associate in Medicine and Cardiology from 1953 to 1958 and served as Chief of Medicine and Cardiology, as well as Chief of Electrocardiography from 1959 to 1987. In addition, he was Director of Coronary Care from 1967 to 1980 and Chairman of the Department of Medicine for these two hospitals for 14 of his 33 years of practice (1953 to 1987).
He also served as Consultant in Medicine and Cardiology for Jersey Shore Hospital, Muncy Valley Hospital and Lock Haven Hospital from 1958 to 1980. In addition to his other responsibilities, for 10 years during 1953 to 1987, Bill was Chairman of the Education Program for Lycoming County Medical Society - Williamsport Hospital and Divine Providence Hospital.
Upon retirement in 1987, Bill and Margene moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina where Bill developed a passion for fishing and a good cigar! After 13 years they made their way to Louisville, Ky., in 2000.
During his long impressive career, Bill held many prestigious memberships: he was a Fellow of American College of Physicians, American College of Cardiology, American College of Chest Physicians, a member of the American Medical Association, Pennsylvania Medical Association, Lycoming County Medical Association, Diplomat of American Board of Internal Medicine, Council on Clinical Cardiology - American Heart Association, New York Academy of Science, Fellow of American Federation for Clinical Research and on the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association.
He had 32 articles written and published between 1949 and 1988 in medical journals, including one published in 1950 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, proving to be one of 120 landmark articles in American Medicine.
Bill and Margene were also longtime devoted parishioners at Annunciation Roman Catholic Church.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Anna and Claude Brink; brothers, Edward, Francis and James Brink (twin); and infant daughters, Mary Josephine and Barbara Jean.
Left to cherish all the memories are his devoted wife of 63 years, Margene and children, James Brink, Kathy Brink, Anne Brink (Bob Hollingsworth), Mary Abernathy (Michael), Richard Brink (Kelly), Margie Kiessling (Rick), John Brink and Ellen Brink. He was "Poppy" to 13 grandchildren: Helena Chalverus (Ivan Camelo), Kyle Hollingsworth, Cole and Pierce Abernathy, Lindsey Brink, Randy Kiessling (Corinne), Taryn Brown (Ryan), Jacob and Alaina Kiessling, John Brink Jr. (Brandy) and James Lee Brink (Lindsay), Jane and William Hirsch; and three great-grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 702 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, on Saturday Nov. 16 at 10 a.m., with Rev. Brian Vanfossan officiating. Friends will be received at the Crouse Funeral Home, 133 E. Third St., Williamsport, on Friday evening Nov. 15, from 6 to 8 pm. Burial will be in Wildwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Dr. Brink's name to The American Heart Association, P.O. Box 15120, Chicago, IL 60693 or online at Heart.org (click on the donate tab).
Expressions of sympathy, memories and heartwarming stories about Bill may be posted online at www.crousefuneralhome.com.