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Richard W. Brinkman, prominent hockey official

Jan. 25, 1934 – Oct. 24, 2014

Richard W. Brinkman, a member of the New York State Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame who supervised off-ice officials at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, died Friday in his Town of Tonawanda home after a short illness. He was 80.

Born in Amherst, Mr. Brinkman graduated from Kenmore High School in 1952. He also graduated from Bryant & Stratton Business Institute with an accounting degree.

Mr. Brinkman served in the Army’s 3rd Armored Division and the Marine Corps Reserve. He worked as an accountant at Trico for eight years and then as a program manager at Bell Aerospace for 25 years.

A longtime resident of the Town of Tonawanda, Mr. Brinkman became a key figure in hockey officiating.

He worked as a collegiate official for 16 years and founded the Ken-Ton Officials Hockey Association, which later became the Niagara Frontier Officials Association. There, he served as president and a member of the board of directors for 14 years.

He was instrumental in forming the state Hockey Officials Association and was referee in chief of the state Amateur Hockey Association for 15 years. He also was a member of the USA Hockey rules committee for 12 years and was referee in chief of the North American Hockey League for six years.

In addition to working as an off-ice official for the Buffalo Sabres, Mr. Brinkman oversaw a crew of 44 off-ice officials during the Lake Placid Olympics.

In 1991, he became director of adult hockey and arena relations for USA Hockey and retired in 1994. He was a member of the Class of 2013 of the state Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, the former Catherine F. Detwiler; two daughters, Susan Bumanis and Karen Alvarez; three sons, Gregory, Scott and Jeffrey; a brother, Albert; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A funeral will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Church of the Nativity United Church of Christ, 1530 Colvin Blvd., Town of Tonawanda.