Keith E. Brink
Madison – Keith E. Brink, age 77, of Cross Plains, passed away on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at Agrace HospiceCare, surrounded by his wife and children.
Keith was born on August 25, 1935, in Orange City, IA, to his parents Myron and E. Margarette Brink. He graduated from Central College in Pella, IA, and was working as a medical technologist when he met his wife, Arlene. They married in Carmel, California in 1960. He then returned to school, earning a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Iowa State University in Ames, IA. He started his own architectural businesses in Madison, first a partnership, Root and Brink Architects, then K. Brink and Associates. Keith designed many buildings in Madison and surrounding communities, including office buildings and homes. Keith was well known for his expertise in designing banks and bank additions – over 60 in all throughout southern Wisconsin. He designed and built his own house, continually making improvements and creative renovations.
Keith and Arlene raised three children in a wonderful neighborhood. He was a dedicated father, attending all of his children’s events when they were young and always offering his help when they had grown into adulthood. Keith was down-to-earth, yet refined, with many interests and talents. He enjoyed art, music, and theater. He loved Door County, traveling there almost every summer with his wife and family. Keith was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church for over 40 years, serving both as a deacon and elder.
Keith had an incredible work ethic. Family and friends indicated this was due to his Dutch heritage (If you aren’t Dutch, you aren’t much). Running a business required long hours, but he also worked tirelessly at home. He was always up early on Saturday morning working on projects – sometimes to his teenaged son’s chagrin.
Keith loved sports. At the neighborhood annual Labor Day picnic he would never miss the major event, the East vs. West Deer Run volleyball match. This grew to a weekly Sunday evening event at a fellow neighbor’s lighted court. One New Year’s Eve after a heavy snowfall he played for hours with the neighbors in foot-deep snow to ring in the New Year. While the style of play could never be confused with professional volleyball, his play was no less intense.
Despite suffering a stroke at age 60 that left his right side paralyzed and speech impaired, he continued to design and work. He learned how to walk again and to use his left hand. He accomplished more than many of us do with a healthy body.
Keith is survived by his wife, Arlene, son Kurt, daughter Dana (Mark Hauser), daughter Kristin (Ryan Marsh); four grandchildren, Cheyenne, Noelle, Neelam, and Kaia, brothers Bob of Boynton Beach, Florida and Del (Laura) of San Diego, CA, sister Myra Mahan of Palm Desert, CA, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a nephew, Robby Mahan, and brother-in-law Robert Mahan.
Special thanks to the staff of St. Mary’s Hospital, Clara Thompson, and Agrace HospiceCare, as well as others who helped to care for Keith this past year.