Rev. William Joseph Brinker, C.S.C., 93, died Sunday evening (Oct. 21, 2012) at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, Ind.
He was born on May 8, 1919, in Covington, Ky., to John B. and Elizabeth M. (Ruh) Brinker.
Fr. Brinker attended St. Aloysius grade school for eight years and then attended St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. He entered the University of Notre Dame as a freshman in 1937 and entered the Novitiate in Rolling Prairie, Ind., on Aug. 15, 1939. He made his First Vows on Aug. 16, 1940. He studied Theology at Holy Cross College, Washington, D.C., from 1942 to 1946. Fr. Brinker graduated from Notre Dame in 1942 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Fr. Brinker made his Final Vows June 6, 1944, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 24, 1946 in Sacred Heart Church at Notre Dame.
Fr. Brinker spent his life’s work as a teacher and counselor. From 1946 to 1955, he taught at Holy Cross Seminary, Notre Dame, while earning a Master’s Degree in Education from the University.
Fr. Brinker was one of the founding religious of Notre Dame High School for Boys in Niles, Ill., where he served from 1955 to 1964, teaching religion, math and physics, while also serving as Athletic Director. At the same time, he conducted conferences for Religious sisters for many years and was active in the Christian Family Movement in the Chicago and South Bend, Ind., areas. He also assisted at two Chicagoland churches for many years, St. Isaac Jogues Church in Niles and St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Park Ridge. Fr. Brinker assisted at St. Isaac Jogues for about 50 years. He also served as Chaplain to the Carmelite Sisters in Des Plaines, Ill., and for the Sisters of Providence in Chicago.
Fr. Brinker served at Holy Cross Seminary from 1964 to 1967 as Assistant Superior and Teacher. When the Seminary closed, Fr. Brinker returned to Notre Dame High School to work as a guidance counselor from 1967 to 1992. Until 2007, he remained at the school and served as Counselor Emeritus.
Fr. Brinker moved to Fatima House, Notre Dame, for one year and then in 2008, moved to Holy Cross House, also in Notre Dame, where he lived until his death.
Survivors include three nieces, Anne (Heile) Scheve, Mary Margaret (James) Cole and Monica (Takis) Tsoras, along with eight grand nieces and nephews. Fr. Brinker was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, John (Lorraine); and three sisters, Delores Brinker, Mary Elizabeth (Ralph) Heile; and Sr. Dolora Brinker, R.S.M. (Sisters of Mercy).
The Visitation and Wake Service were Wednesday (Oct. 24, 2012) at Moreau Seminary. The Funeral Mass was Thursda ( Oct. 25, 2012) at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame.