Bernard C. Brinker

June 16, 1931February 21, 2021

Bernard C. Brinker

Passed away fortified with the sacraments of the Catholic Church on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at age 89.

Devoted husband of Jane Darrah Brinker for 65 years. Dear father of Jeffrey (Tanja) Brinker and Lynne Brinker. Loving grandfather (papa) of Haley and Reese Brinker.

He attended St. Anthony of Padua grade school, CBC high school and Washington University where he received an A.B. degree in 1953 and a J.D. degree in 1955. In that same year he was licensed to practice law in Missouri and the United States District court. Among the skilled partners with whom he worked was his close colleague and friend, John Doyen, his partner for 40+ years.

While engaged in all types of civil litigation, he concentrated his expertise in defense, trying and settling hundreds of cases. In later years, he focused on mediation.

His trial skills were recognized by his receipt of the Lon O. Hocker Trial Lawyer’s Award in 1965, given annually by the Missouri Bar Foundation for outstanding trial advocacy for lawyers under 40. The award acknowledges professional competency, integrity, courtesy, and meticulous preparation in the pursuit of the truth.

In 1989 he was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, extended by invitation only after careful investigation of experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct. Membership is limited to 1% of the total lawyer population of any state.

Bern was a mentor and role model for many attorneys and known for his quick wit, kindness and civility. He thoroughly enjoyed sports, reading, as well as ushering at Our Lady of the Pillar. He could be found on a handball court often, attending professional sporting events with family and he and Jane were fixtures at their granddaughters’ soccer and basketball games, recitals and theatrical events. Bern also loved learning, taking Lifelong Learning Institute classes at Washington University following retirement. He introduced his grandchildren to “edutainment” – no holiday dinner was complete without engaging, wind-up toys and games, delighting all. And he read everything from Paradise Lost and Dylan Thomas to the Dead Sea Scrolls and the latest Grisham novel. His love of all types of music influenced his kids, introducing them to the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix as well as Etta James and Tony Bennett. Thank you to McKnight Place Extended Care and Eileen McCarthy and her private duty staff for all of their support.

We miss you Dad.

Service and burial are private.

In lieu of flowers, donations suggested to Our Lady of The Pillar Catholic Church.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Bernard C. Brinker

have a memory or condolence to add?

Andrew Eastman

March 8, 2021

Whenever he stopped by the firm, Mr. Brinker made a point of walking the halls and stopping to visit with each associate. It was a genuine, graceful thing to do and always made me feel like I was part of a bigger, better tradition. I was glad to have met him as often as I did. Emily and I send our condolences.

Maura McShane

March 2, 2021

Lynne and Jeff,
I was sorry to hear that your father had passed away. I will keep
you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Maura McShane

Craig Sandvig

February 28, 2021

Lynne, wanted to express my sympathy at the loss of your father. He sounds very special. Hope you are well and taking care of yourself and your family during this s difficult time. Take care.

Steve Harms

February 28, 2021

Jeff - So sorry to hear of Bernie's passing. I recall him trying a case for me and with Joe Mueller defending another party and Tom Hulverson representing the plaintiff. At the end of the case the judge told the jury they just had the privilege of witnessing three of the finest trial attorneys in St. Louis. I learned a lot from Bernie. Will always be grateful. Steve

Doris Barks

February 28, 2021

Mrs. Brinker (Jane) and family,
I'm was so sorry to hear of the loss of your much loved husband, father, grandfather and friend to so many. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Mrs. Brinker, I miss our phone conversations and we had plenty over the years I was at the STL Club.

Sending Love, Hugs and Prayers to all.

Alan Mandel

February 26, 2021

Jeff and Tonya
All my condolences and prayers on the loss of your dad. My contacts with him especially early in my career taught me how competent ethical defense lawyers conducted themselves. Over the years he earned my respect and the profession will miss him. He truly was a gentlemen of the old school and I am sure he was proud of you and your family
All my best Alan

Lisa Herder

February 26, 2021

Jeff and family,
I was saddened by learning of the loss of your Dad. It was always a pleasure to see his smiling face and I always appreciated that he recognized the special privilege that you and I shared in having the opportunity to practice law with your Dad. As a mentor or business partner you couldn't have had anyone finer. My heartfelt condolences!

Tad Eckenrode

February 26, 2021

Jeff — I’m very sorry for your loss. Your dad was a great man, and obviously an inspiration (and certainly a fine example) to many young attorneys, as he handled every matter or issue with grace and dignity. I appreciated all of the opportunities I had to work with him, especially as I was just coming up in the practice. In recent years, he did his usual great job in mediating a few cases for me. It was always a pleasure seeing him. Please pass along my thoughts to everyone in your family.

Debbie Sitek

February 25, 2021

Mr. and Mrs. Brinker, Haley and Reese,
I am sorry for your loss. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. In the famous words of Sr. Catherine, you now have a Guardian Angel watching over you. Thinking of you all as you celebrate his remarkable life.
With Blessings, Debbie Sitek

Neal Cohen

February 25, 2021

Jeff :
Sorry for your loss. Condolences to your sister, mother and rest of the family.
Neal Cohen