David Ryrie Brink, of Minneapolis, died July 20, 2017, just one week shy of his 98th birthday. He was born July 28, 1919, to Carol Ryrie Brink and Raymond Woodard Brink and raised in the University Grove neighborhood of Falcon Heights.
His mother, Carol, was a distinguished novelist, most famous for her Newberry Award-winning children’s novel Caddie Woodlawn (1935), and his father, Raymond, was a math professor at the University of Minnesota.
Childhood summers were spent at the family’s rustic cabin on Lake Windigo, south of Hayward, Wis. David graduated from Marshall High School in Minneapolis and then attended the U of M, graduating with honors in 1940. He attended the U of M Law School, but his legal education was interrupted by military service in World War II. He served as a Navy cryptographer in Washington, D.C., breaking Japanese codes. He retired from active duty in 1946 at the rank of lieutenant commander.
After the war, he returned to finish his law degree at the U of M, and served as editor of the Law Review.
He joined the firm that is now Dorsey & Whitney LLP as an associate in 1947. In 1953, he became partner at Dorsey, succeeding the late Harry Blackmun (later Supreme Court justice) as the head of the Trusts & Estates Department.
David developed local, regional and national expertise in probate law. He also served as president of the Hennepin County Bar Association in 1967–68, president of the Minnesota State Bar Association in 1978–79 and president of the American Bar Association in 1981–82.
He retired in 1989 at age 70.
David turned to serious engagement with various forms of poetry in his 80s. At the age of 96, he made his literary debut, publishing the poetry collection, “Beyond the Delta” (2016).
David was married four times to Betty Jo Ellis Brink, Mary Helen Wangensteen Brink, Lucile Adams Ranz Brink and Irma Marie Lorentz Bong Brink. He is survived by his sister, Nora; four children; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life reception will be held Sat., Aug. 26, 2-4 p.m., at 6 Smith, located at 294 East Grove Lane, Wayzata. RSVP to David O. Brink at firstname.lastname@example.org.