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Jerry was born to Harry and Grace Brinton on Dec. 15, 1931, in Libby, Mont. He grew up in Libby with his four brothers and one sister.
After graduating from high school in 1949, he joined the Army and served with the 37th Engineering Combat Company in Panama until 1953.
He met Lois Wilton of Lakeport, Mich. in Colorado Springs shortly before his discharge from the Army, and they were married April 10, 1954. The couple moved back to Libby, where he worked as an equipment operator building roads for the J. Neils Lumber Company. In 1956, Jerry began pursuing a teaching degree, first attending Port Huron Junior College in Michigan, then Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Ill. He received a bachelor of science degree in teaching from Concordia in 1960.
Jerry’s first teaching job was at a one-room, sixth-grade school at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in La Grange, Texas. He then served as a principal and teacher at Concordia Lutheran School in San Antonio, Texas from 1963 to 1969. Jerry’s love of the mountains, his desire to live in a small mountain town, and a week-long stay at Vallecito Lake led him to chose southwest Colorado as the ideal location to raise his family.
He and Lois moved to Pagosa with their five children on Jan. 1, 1970, and lived at Hidden Valley Ranch, managing ranch operations and running a boys’ camp in the summer. In 1976, Jerry obtained his realtors license, eventually opening his own firm — Brinton Realty — which he operated until his retirement.
Jerry was active in the Pagosa Springs community throughout his life here. He was instrumental in the establishment of Our Savior Lutheran Church and School and served the church in numerous capacities. He was a member of the Lions Club, a charter member of the Rotary Club of Pagosa, one of the original EMTs to serve the area, and a member of the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission and the Southwest Land Alliance board.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 59 years, Lois; sons David (Dorothy) Brinton of Pagosa Springs and Scott (Marjorie) Brinton of Durango; daughters Elizabeth (Freddy) Martinez, Kathryn (Mark) Young and Sara Brinton, all of Pagosa Springs; brother Jim (Pat) Brinton of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; and 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by infant daughter Sarah Jane, grandson Christopher Young, sister Shirley Brinton-Priess and brothers Richard, Robert and Tom Brinton.
The family wishes to express their appreciation for the compassion, support and caring shown by Judy Schmidt during the last days of Jerry’s life. Her help was invaluable and greatly appreciated.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 56 Meadows Drive, Pagosa Springs. Memorial contributions may be sent to Our Savior Lutheran Church.