Bruce Brink ’60

Bruce Brink ’60 M.D., 78, died peacefully Nov. 27, 2016, in the Palliative Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital. His wife Patty was by his side.

Bruce was born in Holland, on Jan. 22, 1938, to parents Amy (Voorhorst) Brink and John Brink Jr.

Bruce is survived by his loving wife, Priscilla (Patty) DeJong ’63 Brink. They were husband and wife, and friends for 55 years. Also surviving to cherish his memory are a daughter and son, Mary (Brink) Ayers and Jonathan Brink ’95; and daughter-in-law, Jennifer (Stonecipher) Brink; as well as his sisters, Phyllis (Brink) Bursma and Marcia (Brink) Erb and their families. Bruce is survived by six grandchildren, Ashley Ayers, Lauren Ayers, Rachael Ayers ’15, Christina Ayers, and Sean and Elena Brink; as well as two great-grandchildren, Ayden and Joseph. He not only leaves behind family, but also numerous friends. He requested that we tell family and friends how much he loved and appreciated you. Bruce spent his childhood years in Hamilton, with his two sisters, Phyllis Brink ’58 Bursma and Marcia, his cousins, and many friends. Growing up with both an older and younger sister gave Bruce superior negotiating skills and added to his already strong will. As a child, Bruce attended a three-room school house.

He went on to attend and graduate from Holland High School in 1956 where 3 he excelled at football, track and academics.

His inherent leadership qualities were evident as he involved himself in numerous positions including Sophomore Class Treasurer, Band, Band President, President of Choir, Senior class “Chief of Police” in addition to athletics, just to name a few.

Bruce proudly served in the United States Marine Corps from 1957-59 where he became increasingly disciplined and dedicated to success. Following this service, Bruce returned to Hope College where his undergraduate studies were focused on biological sciences as well as the love of his life, Priscilla Kaye DeJong.

He attended the University of Michigan Medical School from 1962-66 and was a Surgical Resident from 1966-72, at which time Bruce joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Medical Center.

From 1974-76 Bruce held the position of Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.

In 1976, Bruce’s career took him to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas. In 1985, Bruce, aka Dr. Brink, became the Residency Program Director at the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wisconsin, where he also later became the Chairman of the Department of General Surgery and where he practiced until he retired in 1998. Bruce and his family were very fond of the community.

Bruce consistently valued the opportunity to interact with interns and residents, finding the teaching aspect of medicine especially fulfilling. His love and support of the educational process was obvious to all who knew him. Bruce was member of numerous medical societies including the Frederick A. Coller Surgical Society, serving as its president in 2015.

Bruce enjoyed volunteering at church and in the community. He taught Sunday school at First Presbyterian Church, was an Elder, sang in the choir and became a regular contributing member of the Outreach and Personnel committees. He was a founding member of Habitat for Humanity in Marshfield, donating his time, talent and money.

Bruce delivered Meals on Wheels in the community.

Bruce also sat with families at the hospital waiting room while their loved ones were in the operating room. He felt it was a way he could give back during his retirement years.

Bruce loved collecting and restoring old cars.

He was a University of Michigan Wolverines Football fan. He enjoyed playing word games, brain teasers, New York Times Cross Word puzzles, cards with family and friends.

He enjoyed classical music, reading, riding his motorcycle, traveling, and gourmet cooking. Bruce was a friend, a husband, a father, a brother, a Marine, a son, a child of God.

He was greatly loved. He will be greatly missed.



of Marshfield, Wisconsin, died on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. He was 78. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was the chairman of the department of general surgery at Marshfield Clinic. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Priscilla DeJong ’63 Brink; children, Mary (Brink) Ayers and Jonathan Brink ’95; daughter-in-law, Jennifer (Stonecipher) Brink; sisters, Phyllis Brink ’58 Bursma and Marcia (Brink) Erb; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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