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Gayla J. Brink____________________________

1954 - 2013

Gayla J. Brink, 59, of Rapid City, passed away on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at Rapid City Regional Hospital, surrounded by family and friends.
Born to Clifton and Beatrice “Bea” Long, she grew up and graduated high school in Bison, South Dakota. She married Lyle Brink in 1972 whom she raised her family with in Rapid City, South Dakota.
It is safe to say that the most important things in Gayla Brink’s life were family, friends, and most of all, her dozen grandchildren. You could not have a conversation with Gayla without it involving an award someone received, an event someone was in, a recital she needed to attend, or a story about something adorable one of them had done. There were no favorites; she loved every single one of them equally, and made every effort to attend every activity or event. She would plan trips to places that she believed her grandchildren would learn from and enjoy. Whenever she and her husband Lyle would travel without her grandchildren, she was constantly picking up brochures and presents to share with them. She knew the likes, dislikes, and strengths of every grandchild.
Friendships were like family to Gayla. Her friendships ran deep and lasted as long. She always looked forward to her annual gathering with “The Jewels”, special friends of hers from her days at Bison High School. She was very active in the Beta Sigma Phi, Xi Alpha Pi service sorority and will be very missed by her sisters.
If you were a family member or friend of Gayla Brink, then you most likely received a countless number of thoughtful presents. Giving gifts to other people gave Gayla joy. She was a professional shopper. However, her purchases were usually not for herself, but for her family or friends she made throughout her lifetime. She remembered collections, birthdays, holidays, favorite colors, and even pets. If she ran across something that reminded her of someone, something her grandchildren would like, something she just knew she could find a home for, she would buy it.
Gayla truly wanted to help people. Throughout her life, she was involved in the Care & Share Food Drive, The Salvation Army, The American Heart Association, Boy Scouts, Hospital Auxiliary, and a supporter of The Children’s Miracle Network. Giving of her time came easily to Gayla. She loved to learn and enjoyed helping others to learn as well. To that end, she was involved in the Journey Museum and The Questers. She also loved to cook and belonged to a gourmet-cooking club.
And how about those BEARS. They were everywhere. When you entered the foyer of the Brink home, bears immediately surrounded you. Her collection was second to none. It was very difficult to give Gayla anything that had a bear on it because she probably already owned it.
The last few years found Gayla in a great deal of pain. That has ended now and she is safe.
She is survived by her husband, Lyle Brink of Rapid City; three sons, Derek (LaDelle) Brink of Reva, Zane (Trine) Brink of Rapid City, and Travis (Chandelle) Brink of Box Elder; two brothers, Greg (Lori) Long of Spearfish and Ron Ary of Harper, Kansas; one sister, Linda (Frank) Cervantez of Broomfield, CO; and 12 grandchildren. Also surviving are many loving nieces, nephews and in-laws. Gayla was preceded in death by her parents.
Visitation was held from 5 - 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at Kirk Funeral Home and one hour before the services at the church.
Services were at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3 at First Presbyterian Church in Rapid City with the Rev. Jeff Kintner officiating. Burial followed at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis at 2:30 p.m.
A memorial has been established. Family and friends may sign Gayla’s online guestbook at www.kirkfuneralhome.com