John J. “Joe” Brinkel

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John J. “Joe” Brinkel

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Joe Brinkel
Joe Brinkel

John J. “Joe” Brinkel, a resident of Laurel for over 60 years, passed away at the RiverStone Health and Hospice facility on Sept. 21, 2015, from complications due to diabetes.
A viewing will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at First United Methodist Church, 2800 Fourth Ave. N. A reception will follow and burial will be in the Laurel Cemetery at 2 p.m.
Joe was born to William and Regina Brinkel east of Broadview on March 24, 1927. He attended Billings schools and was a graduate of Billings Senior High School. He married Ruth Britton later that year. He began a career with Safeway stores and held many positions. He became the youngest manager of a Safeway store at that time. He purchased and operated the Laurel Slaughter Plant in 1958, and continued that business for 18 years. His plan for retirement was short-lived, as he soon became superintendent of the Laurel Golf Course, a position he held for over 22 years. He was known as a fair but exacting employer, and was constantly learning ways to improve the course.
Ruth Brinkel died of leukemia in 1982. He married Lois Bzdok in 1987, but she died of cancer in 1995.
Joe was passionate about learning and mastering new work techniques; was a proud gardener, especially of his roses; and enjoyed photography. He loved a lively card game, whether it be poker, pinochle or hearts with his grandchildren. Later in life, he enjoyed puzzles, was an avid reader and had an extensive library of Montana history.
Joe was a charter member of the Laurel Golf Course and a longtime Elk and Shrine member. He was a supporter of the Yellowstone Art Museum and attended the First United Methodist Church.
He is survived by a brother, William (Char) Brinkel; sisters Delores Brinkel and Rosa (Richard Van Luchene); son David (Marlene) Brinkel; daughter Dorothy (Bob) Johnson; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He also leaves a special friend, Evie Schenk. He will be missed.
Memorials may be made to the Shrine Hospital of Spokane, Wash., and the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings.

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0 thoughts on “John J. “Joe” Brinkel”

  1. Joe was one of my favorite customers as my bookstore. I will miss him very much. My heart goes out to his family. Cindy Holliday

  2. As members of the Laurel Golf Club for over four decades we had he pleasure of spending time with Joe. We encountered Joe and Ruth when they were camping at a campground in the Beartooths a number of years ago and shared a cocktail and some good conversation. Appreciate everything Joe did for the golf course and he was a man well worth knowing.
    Vic @ JoAnne Miller

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