Campus News

Emeritus Chemistry Professor Irwin Brink Dies

Dr. Irwin J. Brink, a professor emeritus of chemistry who had taught at Hope College for nearly 40 years, died on Friday, June 23, at age 86.

A 1952 Hope graduate, he was a member of the college’s faculty from 1957 until retiring in 1996.  During his tenure, he was dean for the natural sciences from 1982 to 1988, and had also served as department chair.

His external grants while at Hope included multiple awards for research from the National Science Foundation, as well as a Faculty Fellowship from the NSF to support a year of study at the University of Michigan during 1967-68.  His service to the college also included having written a history of science at Hope that served as a major source for the 2009 book “A Century of Science: Excellence at Hope College.”

He was raised in Hudsonville and graduated from Hudsonville High School.  He majored in chemistry at Hope, and completed his doctorate in physical chemistry at the University of Illinois in 1957.

He was a member of Third Reformed Church, where he had been an elder, Sunday School teacher, choir member and Stephen Minister.  His community involvement included playing clarinet in the American Legion and Zeeland Community bands.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Barbara; children, Jeanne (Jay) Lindell, Anne Brink, Robert (Karine Renard) Brink and Mary VanKula; grandchildren, Zack (Allie) Lindell, Katie Lindell, Jacob Lindell and Ian VanKula; and brother, Kenneth Brink.  He was preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Janice Brink.

Visitation will be on Thursday, June 29, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Third Reformed Church, located at 111 W. 13th St., at the corner of 13th Street and Pine Avenue.  A memorial service will be held at the church on Friday, June 30, at 11 a.m.

Funeral arrangements are by the Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Irwin Brink Scholarship Fund at Hope, Third Reformed Church or Hospice of Holland.