Charles “Bud” Brinkley
Charles “Bud” Brinkley died peacefully on Friday, November 3, 2023 after a short hospital stay. He was born January 2, 1938 in Rowan County, North Carolina in his grandmother’s house. He was the only child of Porter James Brinkley and Katie Mae (Walton) Brinkley.
After graduating from Spencer High School in 1956, he attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry Management. He spent the summer of 1957 working for the US Forest Service in the Lolo National Forest near Missoula, Montana where he manned the remote Morrell Lookout in the Seeley Lake District. He also served as a laborer in the Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina in 1958.
Following graduation he married Jean Poe of Durham, North Carolina and celebrated 63 years of marriage on July 10, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife and three sons and their families. His eldest son, James London Brinkley and wife, Marilyn Teresa Brinkley; their daughters, Kristen Marie Brinkley, Sara Elizabeth McWhorter and husband Rustin McWhorter, and their daughter Willa Ann McWhorter; Katherine Ann Cleland and her husband Jake Cleland, and their sons, Jack Allen Cleland and Luke Allen Cleland; and Erin London Brinkley.
His middle son, Charles Eugene Brinkley and wife, Sharon VonCannon Brinkley, their daughters, Carol Brinkley Martin and husband, Josh Allen Martin, and their daughters, Ruth Adeline Martin and Remi Afton Martin; and Rachel Caroline Brinkley.
Their youngest son, Christopher William Brinkley and his daughter, Elizabeth Anne Brinkley and son, William Porter Brinkley; and their mother, Shelley Jeannette Brinkley.
Within a month of graduation, Bud married and began working as a forester for the US Forest Service in Las Padres National Forest in California. After two days in California, Bud was sent to fight his first forest fire. He spent a year and a half in California before being drafted into the army. He served in the US Army with the 83rd Engineering Battalion and was stationed in Saint-Jean-d’Angely, France from 1962 to 1963 during the Berlin build up. After being discharged from active duty he returned to work with the US Forest Service in the Sierra National Forest in California. He left the Forest Service for two years in 1969 and began his career with the US Army Corp of Engineers in Cary, NC in 1970. In 1974, he was transferred to Mobile, Alabama, and then in 1975 he was transferred to the Gathright Dam and Lake Moomaw project near Covington, Virginia. He arrived in Virginia during the construction of the dam and became the first Facility Manager. Bud retired from the US Army Corp of Engineers in 2005 after 35 years of service and a total of 43 years of service to his country.
After retirement, Bud and Jean took their RV and spent 12 out of the next 14 summers volunteering somewhere in a National Park of for the US Forest Service. They volunteered five summers at the Cradle of Forestry near Sliding Rock, North Carolina. Then one summer at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina and one summer in Yosemite, California, close to where he started with the US Forest Service on his initial job out of college. And finally, seven years manning Green Cove Station on the Virginia Creeper Trail near Damascus, Virginia.
Bud was a faithful and devoted member of Temple Baptist Church in Covington, Virginia. During his lifetime he was a deacon, youth pastor, and a Sunday school teacher. He was also a member of the Gideons and distributed Bibles. Bud was a member of Rotary International in Covington serving as president from 1998-1999. He was initiated into the Mason’s on November 30, 1968 in the Mountain Shade Lodge 18 in Downieville, California.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, November 12, 2023 at 1:00 PM at Temple Baptist Church, 300 Stratton Street, Covington, Virginia. A memorial service will immediately follow the visitation at the church. There will be no graveside service. Those who wish to remember Bud in a special way may make gifts in his name to Temple Baptist Church or to the National Park Foundation at www.nationalparks.org.
Nicely Funeral Home, Clifton Forge is handling the arrangements.
To send condolences to the family online, please visit www.nicelyfuneralhome.com
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