Thomas Truman Brinkley Sr.

Published 10:13 pm Friday, October 23, 2015

Thomas Truman Brinkley Sr., 92, passed away on Oct. 22, 2015. Born in Nansemond County on Christmas Day 1922, Thomas was the son of the late Carlton and MayBelle Horton Brinkley. He was a graduate of Cypress High School as salutatorian of the class of 1940. After high school, he entered the Apprentice School of Newport News Shipbuilding, but was interrupted to serve the U.S. Navy in World War II, mainly in the Pacific Theater. After discharge from the Navy, he returned to Newport News Shipbuilding to complete his apprenticeship and graduated in the class of 1947. He retired from there in 1987. He was a charter member and former deacon of Hillcrest Baptist Church and an active member of the Senior Men’s Bible Class and the Happy Active Christian Organization. Before losing his eyesight due to macular degeneration, he served many years as a teacher in the youth department and the Senior Men’s Bible Class. He was also active in the Meals on Wheels program through the church. Thomas loved the Lord, his family and his church. He was a faithful and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was preceded in death by brothers, Clarence, Ryland and Clinton Brinkley; sisters, Beulah Mae Barnes, Mataline Savage and Mary Ida Horton.



Thomas is survived by his loving wife of 66 ½ years, Ruth Blanchard Brinkley; son, Thomas T. Brinkley Jr., of Suffolk; daughters, Patricia B. Smith and husband, Doug, of Williamsburg, and Phyllis B. Lilly and husband, Phil, of Suffolk; two grandchildren, Megan L. Antezana and husband, Vince, and Matthew Lilly, all of Suffolk; one great-granddaughter, Keri Ruth Antezana, and a great-grandson, Karson Thomas Antezana, due to be born in December. Also surviving are three sisters-in-law, Maryvonne Brinkley, Naomi B. Hofler (Willard) and Mary Helen Brinkley; one brother-in-law, Elliott Horton; and many nieces and nephews. He loved his family dearly and was very dedicated to them.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to caregiver, Celestine Blow, for the excellent care and support given to Dad and family. Additional thanks are extended to all the wonderful staff of Sentara Obici Hospital and in particular the nursing staff of 2 Telemetry; niece, Becky Case, for her love and support during hospice; and the staff of Nansemond Pointe.

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A funeral service will be conducted on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, at 1 p.m. at Hillcrest Baptist Church with Dr. Ben Powers officiating, with burial to follow at Warwick Baptist Church Cemetery in Chowan County, N.C. The family will receive friends at R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk, on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Hillcrest Baptist Church Building Fund, 1637 Holland Road, Suffolk, VA 23434. Condolences may be registered at