William Benjamin Brinkley, Sr.
GREENVILLE - William Benjamin "Buck" Brinkley, Sr., 89, died peacefully at home in Greenville on Saturday, May 9, of natural causes.
Mr. Brinkley was born September 23, 1930 in New Bern to the late Addie Bell Brinkley nee Bunch and Edmond Eunice Brinkley. He was one of six children and the youngest of three boys. For most of his life, Mr. Brinkley went by the name "Buck" - a nickname bestowed by his father and older brothers, who frequently took him deer hunting.
Mr. Brinkley enlisted in the U.S. Army and trained at Ft. Knox as a tanker before shipping out to serve in the Korean War. Upon his arrival in Korea, however, he was surprised to see there were no tanks, and instead fought with an infantry unit.
Mr. Brinkley worked as a chemical engineer for DuPont in Kinston until his retirement. While courting Anne, with whom he worked at DuPont, Mr. Brinkley once affixed a large banner to the side of the building. When Anne arrived to work later that day, the message "I love you Anne" greeted her and the rest of the oncoming shift, setting the plant abuzz.
To his children and grandchildren, it seemed Mr. Brinkley had an endless supply of stories. A favorite was the tale of his first job working at Pinnix Drug Store on Hancock Street in New Bern, where an 11-year-old Mr. Brinkley stood on a crate to operate the cash register. He started working the candy counter and was promoted to ice cream, working his way up to filling prescriptions, all while attending elementary school. He recalled frequently hightailing it to the back of the store to hide, lest his underage status be discovered by the authorities!
Mr. Brinkley is survived by his wife, Anne Elizabeth Brinkley nee Cheek; four children from his first wife the late Doris Christine Brinkley nee Register - Robbin Wilson, Bettina Brinkley, Billie Hearn and Ben Brinkley; two step-children - Janet McKee and David Sutton; ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Terry Stewart nee Brinkley of New Bern.
Mr. Brinkley will be cremated, in accordance with his wishes.