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Reed Brinton, father of newly appointed UGA President Steve Brinton, passes away at age 100
On Dec. 11, 2015, Reed W. Brinton passed away quietly at his beloved Univ. of Utah Hospital. On that day, he had been on this earth 100 years, four months and 21 days. He was born in Salt Lake on July 20, 1915 to Wollerton Huffaker Brinton and Jane Hamilton Brinton. His family moved to Mt. Pleasant, UT in 1917 where he lived with his parents and three younger sisters until he began his college studies at the age of 17. Since his birth, he has been a valued son, brother, husband, father and example for good. He was educated at Snow College and later at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He married Helena Anderson from Fairview in l935, which marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. From 1935 to 1937, Reed served a mission for the LDS Church in the Eastern States Mission.
In 1937, following his mission, Reed and Helena moved to Los Angeles where Reed began his 60-year career with New York Life Insurance Co. In 1945, they moved to Salt Lake where two of his early NY Life managers were Stirling Sill and Gerald Erickson.
For nearly 50 years, Reed ranked among the top ten agents nationally for New York Life and served on the Advisory Board of Directors for the Company for 41 years. In 1946, at the age of 31, he ranked second in the entire nation in sales for New York Life. In 1947 (at age 32), he led the Company in national sales.
At the age of 23, Reed learned to play golf in Los Angeles and continued playing regularly for the next 70 years. He skied until he was 90 and for the past 25 years has played at least three hours of bridge four or five days a week, whether living in SLC or in the Palm Springs area for the five coldest months of the year.
In 1958, Reed was appointed by Governor George Dewey Clyde to serve as a member of Utah’s Board of Regents – a position he occupied for 24 years. When the Board of Regents was changed in 1982 to oversee all public colleges and universities in Utah, Reed was appointed to the Institutional Council at the Univ. of Utah, where he served another 24 years. He has served the “U” on the U’s Hospital Board, the Fine Arts Board, the Pioneer Theatre Board, as well as the Board of the Moran Eye Center and other Special Committees for the past 52 years. When he turned 100, he had nine birthday parties of which we are aware. At the time of his passing (resulting from a fall in London), he was still driving, dating and continued to serve on the Moran Eye Center Board as well as the Fine Arts Board of Directors.
In 1998, Reed was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from the University of Utah; he had received its Distinguished Alumnus Award previously (in 1985). In April of 2008, Reed received the Pioneer Theatre Company’s “BRAVO! AWARD.” In the inscription accompanying the Bravo! Award, the following appeared:
“Reed W. Brinton has a very long track record as a successful businessman, engaged philanthropist, and volunteer committed to causes of the public good that is unmatched in its breadth and longevity. His business acumen and generous heart, combined with the sharing of his time, talents, wisdom, and support have benefitted Pioneer Theatre Company, the arts in Utah, and the University of Utah as well as its Health Sciences Center, for more than 60 years.”
Reed and Helena Brinton are the parents of three sons: Robert, John, and Steven. Our mother and brother, John, predeceased Reed. In addition to Robert (Marilyn) and Steven (Joan), Reed is survived by his sister, Jane, six grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
A viewing will be held at the Larkin Mortuary (3rd East and South Temple Streets) in SLC on Sunday, December 20th from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. The funeral will begin at noon on Monday, Dec. 21st at the LDS Federal Heights Ward at Virginia St. (1340 E.) and Fairfax Rd. (335 N.), in SLC (200 yards south of the Shriners’ Hospital), with a viewing at the Church from 10:30 am to 11:30 am on Monday morning, Dec. 21st.
In lieu of flowers, the family would suggest a contribution to the Univ. of Utah Development Office, SLC, UT 84108 or the Univ. of Utah Health Sciences Development Office at SLC, UT 84132.