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Douglass Wendell Brinkerhoff

October 17, 1958 ~ October 24, 2020 (age 62)

Obituary

Douglass (Doug) Wendell Brinkerhoff

Douglass W. “Doug” Brinkerhoff passed peacefully, surrounded by his family at Gritman Medical Center, in Moscow, Idaho on October 24, 2020, one week after his 62nd birthday. Throughout his life, Doug wore many different hats, including that of son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, friend, mentor, and advocate. While each hat was different, all were woven with the threads of love, humor, kindness, humility, patience, intelligence, and a generosity of spirit leaving his legacies of each within those lives he touched.

Born in Ashton, Idaho on October 17, 1958 to Wendell J and Colleen (Douglass) Brinkerhoff, Doug was the third born of their five children. Doug grew up in St. Anthony, Idaho in the same house his father was raised in. Along with elder sisters Sherri L. Brinkerhoff, Toni R. Quirl (Kirk) of Moody/Teton, ID, and younger brothers Todd J. Brinkerhoff of Uniontown, WA and Jeffery G. Brinkerhoff of Idaho Falls, ID, Doug thrived on his “Huckleberry Finn” childhood, enjoying family travels, trips to Yellowstone and across America, summer days swimming in the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River and neighboring canals, bicycling with friends to Warm Springs, and being a constant thorn in both sisters’ sides. His brothers always looked up to him with Todd joining Doug in Moscow to study at the University of Idaho following their graduations from South Fremont High School (’77 and ’83 respectively).   

While in college at the U of I, Doug combined his compassion for children with special needs with his organizational skills to serve as Co-President of the Moscow Chapter of Special Olympics. During summer breaks, Doug worked for five seasons on the Targhee National Forest management and fire crews. When he graduated from college in 1983, Doug went to work for Stepping Stones, Inc., where for fourteen years he served in several capacities from Recreation Therapist to Program Director. In 1995, he transferred his expertise to Opportunities Unlimited where he served as a Developmental Specialist, Intensive Behavior Modification Specialist, and Manager. The many clients Doug worked with over his 36-year career were the recipients of his good-natured guidance as they strived to achieve their highest level of independence.

Of all the hats Doug wore, the one most precious to him was that of husband and father. Doug introduced himself to Catharine “Cathy” (McJunkin) Reeve when both were new employees at Stepping Stones in October of 1982. It took a year for him to ask her out, but both soon discovered that they would become one another’s best friend and forever love. Having three children from a previous marriage only meant there were more to love and the five of them created a family on July 13, 1985 in a backyard ceremony. The following year they welcomed their son and their family was complete. Doug made sure his children grew up in a loving family, filled with camping and fishing trips, motorcycle rides, good music, great food, and numerous pet cats. Above all, Doug was a proud and loving “Abuelo” to his five grandchildren. From him, his children learned the most important of life lessons: that of unconditional love and acceptance.  Doug unfailingly modeled this in his life’s work and with his friends as well, inspiring all to refer to him as a true “angel on earth.”

Doug is preceded in death by his parents, Wendell and Colleen and by his sister Sherri. He is survived by his beloved wife Cathy and daughter Jodine “Jodi” Reeve at the family home, daughter Katharine “Katie” (Reeve) Dunk and her husband Jason, their children Kaia and Neil of Yucaipa, CA, son Jarod Reeve and his wife Brittany (Fiske), their children Patrick, Tela and Phoebe of Pullman, WA, son Ryan Brinkerhoff of Moscow, sister Toni and brothers Todd and Jeff and their families.

A celebration of life will be held next summer.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the following organizations would honor Doug’s memory: Burkitt’s Lymphoma Society.com, Rett Syndrome.org, and Special Olympics.org.

The family would like to extend their gratitude to the Doctors and Nurses at Gritman Medical Center, Moscow Family Medicine, Elite Home Health and Hospice and Cancer Care Northwest for their care of Doug during his illness.

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