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Larry Douglas Brinkley passed away peacefully at Idabel, OK Aug. 15, 2023.
He was born Jan. 26, 1945, in McAlester, OK. Like so many others born during that time he was a wartime baby. His mom Gearldine had moved from the Eagletown area with her parents to work at the ammunitions plant in McAlester. His dad was stationed in the Army overseas in Germany. It would be two and half years before Larry met his dad, Douglas.
As a young man Larry was taught the value of hard work, while other boys were playing, you would find him working with his dad or his Uncle Bob doing construction or building fences to keep the cows in.
Larry met the love of his life at Idabel Gray High School, Laura Nell Jones. He said he actually heard her before he saw her. But when he did, he remarked, “she had the cutest figure and prettiest red hair.” After high school in 1964 they were united in marriage Jan. 16, 1965, at Idabel.
The couple was accepted to Oklahoma State University. After graduation he taught Agricultural Education at two area schools, Valliant and Battiest.
It was during these years he was hired by Oklahoma State University to be the Southeast District Representative for the Vo-Ag Programs this was very rewarding to him.
But on a whim one day he decided to take a six-week auctioneer course from the Fort Smith Auction School.
This course would change his life. He often bragged about how a little six-week auctioneer course made his career, not his university education.
In 1973 Larry started Brinkley Auctions. It wasn’t long before the business had grown into Oklahoma’s largest ongoing monthly tractor and farm machinery auction as well as ranking third largest in the nation. To date it still holds that title with customers coming from all over the world.
Customers loved not only the service they received, but they also loved Larry. They loved his attention to details, how he made them feel like he was their brother, like he was their best friend. He would do anything for anyone if someone needed help. Larry would go out of his way to do so.
He just had that personality that made one feel welcome. At the same time, he could be stern, when need be, he definitely wasn’t a pushover.
And he knew business. “He would say, you can know all you can about this and that, but you must follow the money and make sure you know what is coming in and going out. And above all make your customers happy.”
Larry wasn’t only about business. He loved participating in the McCurtain County Free Fair livestock shows.
He once said, “You know this is my thing, this is what I enjoy, the kids seeing them show their animals. I don’t ever want to miss it.” All three of his kids were involved with showing animals and later his grandchildren and more recently his great- granddaughter.
Larry was a staple at the Fair. He became the longtime auctioneer for the premium sale, and it just wasn’t the sale without hearing his smooth welcoming voice at the microphone.
His involvement with the 4-H and FFA kids led to a lifetime of generosity in giving of his time and support to hundreds of area kids.
Larry hosted the fall and spring livestock shows as well and in turn he would donate the proceeds to the youth toward the purchase of their animals and expenses.
Attend any area 4-H meeting or FFA program in the county and someone will tell you a story about how Larry Brinkley changed their life.
In 1988 his youngest son Bret was tragically killed in a plane crash. Soon after Larry and Laura Nell changed their lives and gave their life to Lord by being baptized and becoming spiritual leaders at the Bypass Church of Christ.
Larry has been a member there for over 30 years now teaching bible lessons and classes and an elder eight years ago. Church members loved the lessons he would teach. Larry learned along with them as much as his class members. He gave a better understanding at learning the words of God in an understandable in-depth way. During this time, he was asked to perform many eulogies at funerals.
People would hear him at a funeral and ask him to do one for them. Then one would turn into ten, then twenty and so on, the number he performed soon became too many to count. His eulogies weren’t sad. They told a story, an uplifting story which put a smile on the face of grief.
He just had a way with public speaking and words. Larry could write anything. He was just multitalented. Just like his mom would say when he was a boy in the high school band, he would hear a song on the radio, listen to it for a few minutes and then he could play it on his clarinet like he had known it forever.
Larry wasn’t perfect, but you won’t meet many men like him in your lifetime. He was what one calls “one of a kind.” Larry was an honest, humble, hardworking and a God-fearing man. He loved his church family, his friends and most of all his family.
Today the world is a little less bright without Larry Brinkley in it.
Larry is proceeded in death by his parents, Douglas O’Connor Brinkley and Geraldine Bunch Brinkley and his son Bret Douglas Brinkley.
Larry leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife Laura Nell of the home; his son and daughter in law, David and Melissa Brinkley of Idabel; his daughter and son in law, Brawna and Erick Gfeller of Edmond, OK. Granddaughter, Ashlyn Howlett, Springfield, MO; granddaughter and husband BreeAnn and Bradley Campbell, Idabel, OK; grandsons Jace Brinkley, Springfield, MO; Tristain Gfeller, Oklahoma City, OK; granddaughter, Zoe Gfeller, Edmond, OK; great grandchildren, Jaxon Penniman, Springfield, MO; Brinkley and Brighton Campbell, Idabel, OK; sister, Donna Brinkley, Broken Bow, OK, niece and husband Tawsha and Aaron Davenport, and nephew, Shawn Phillips, Broken Bow. And a host of cousins, family and friends.
The family will receive friends from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, at the Larry Brinkley Event Center located at the McCurtain County Fairgrounds.
Funeral Services will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 20, 2023, at the Bypass Church of Christ.
Interment will follow at the Denison Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Larry Brinkley Memorial Fund at the Farmers Bank in Idabel. This will benefit the McCurtain County 4-H and FFA students.
Larry Brinkley Memorial Fund
Farmers Bank (Account #46002374), Idabel OK 74745