Bruce B. Brinkema

Bruce B. Brinkema, 86, longtime resident of Amherst, NH died on March 2, 2021 at his home surrounded by his family.

He was born in Omaha, Nebraska on February 5, 1935, son of Robert J. and Jean (Borglum) Brinkema.

Bruce was raised in Omaha, Queens, NY and Oakland, NJ. He graduated from Pompton Lakes High School in NJ , excelling in football as their quarterback , earned his BA from Dartmouth College while learning to ski, and an MBA from University of Southern California to advance his banking career.

He had been employed in the banking industry for many years, including by Union Bank in Los Angeles, CA.

He was a veteran of the United States Marine Corp and was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant in 1959.

Bruce was an elite masters cross country skier across five decades. Bruce skied his first ski marathon, the 90 kilometer Swedish Vasaloppet in 1973, with dear friend and Dartmouth classmate Len Johnson of Milford. He went on to compete in 38 American Birkebeiner ski marathons, frequently finishing in the top three of his age category. He was a fixture at the annual Thanksgiving gathering of the national ski racing community in West Yellowstone, MT.

Bruce was a member of the Milford Rotary Club, Cambridge Sports Union, and Amherst Country Club where he frequently participated in a men’s golf league. From his childhood to post retirement, he enjoyed hunting and fishing with his favorite dogs. In addition, he and his wife loved spending time at their second home in Waterville Valley with family and friends.

Family members include his loving wife of 60 years, Julie (von Schrader) Brinkema of Amherst, NH; a son and daughter-in-law, Corey Brinkema and Maree Hampton of Minneapolis, MN; two daughters, Kristin Brinkema and her partner, Lisa Stevens of San Juan Capistrano, CA, and Jean Brinkema of Playa Vista, CA; five grandchildren, Torsten, Lars, Bode, Berit and Maxwell; a brother and sister-in-law, John and Leone Brinkema of Virginia; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Anne Ganley of Colorado Springs, CO and Susan and Gregory Hewitt of Lakeside, CA; several nieces and nephews.

Our amazing, caring dad and grandfather, a wonderful, devoted husband, and big brother left us way too soon. His passion and determination in his many endeavors, and above all his love will stay forever in our family’s memory.

Services will be held later this year. Arrangements are in the care of Smith & Heald Funeral Home, 63 Elm Street, Milford. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please go to www.smith-heald.com.