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Lynn John Brinker

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 8:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 8:03 p.m.

Lynn John Brinker, a businessman who co-founded a Santa Rosa accounting firm almost a half-century ago, died Wednesday in a skilled nursing facility because of complications from Alzheimer's Disease. He was 81.

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Lynn Brinker

He was the other half of the CPA firm of Pisenti and Brinker, founded in 1965 with Ed Pisenti.

“He was just a really driven man and he was really successful,” said his son, Doug Brinker of Santa Rosa.

His father would go on to become chairman and chief executive officer of American Home Shield, a home warranty company later sold to Servicemaster. He was also was part-owner of KMST—TV in Monterey, a CBS affiliate.

“He was humble from his Midwest roots, but he was very intelligent, a very kind person,” his son said. “He touched a lot of people's lives. He was very generous.”

Brinker grew up on a small farm near Carroll, Iowa, and attended school in nearby Mt. Carmel.

After high school, he went into the Army and served as a supply sergeant during the Korean War.

Following his military service, he went to Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., concentrating in business and accounting.

In 1955 he married Gayle Rupiper, who was his sister's housemate and also grew up in Iowa.

He worked for a major Nebraska accounting firm. Then in 1963, the couple and their young family moved to Santa Rosa after a business associate told them it was a desirable place to live.

“Back in those days, the early sixties, a lot of people were moving out to California,” his son said. “He thought it was a good opportunity in an area like this to try to start up a practice.”

Brinker had a couple jobs in accounting before starting his own firm.

After retiring in 1989, he and his wife traveled, dividing their time between a house they owned in the Lake Tahoe area and another in Indian Wells, near Palm Springs.

They also had homes in Kona, Hawaii, and Monterey.

He was an avid golfer and fisherman, active in the St. Eugene's Catholic community and other organizations, incuding 20-30 Club, Hannah Boys Center and Knights of Columbus.

In addition to son Doug, survivors include wife Gayle Brinker of Santa Rosa; son Dan Brinker of Santa Rosa; daughters Shelly Nishimi of Orange County, Tammy Dyer of Santa Rosa, and Karen Rubattino of Santa Rosa; brothers Luverne(cq) Brinker of Carroll, Iowa, and Darryl Brinker of Minneapolis, Minn.; sisters Lois Sibenaller of Earling, Iowa, Jerrine Brinker and Mary Jo Brinker, both of Florida; 21 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

A memorial mass is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Eugene's Cathedral. Private entombment will be at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to the Alzheimer's Association, 1211 N. Dutton Ave, Suite A, Santa Rosa, 95401.

—Clark Mason

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