Lynn John Brinker

Lynn John Brinker, a businessman who co-founded a Santa Rosa accounting firm almost a half-century ago, died Wednesday in a skilled nursing facility because of complications from Alzheimer's Disease. He was 81.

He was the other half of the CPA firm of Pisenti and Brinker, founded in 1965 with Ed Pisenti.

"He was just a really driven man and he was really successful," said his son, Doug Brinker of Santa Rosa.

His father would go on to become chairman and chief executive officer of American Home Shield, a home warranty company later sold to Servicemaster. He was also was part-owner of KMST—TV in Monterey, a CBS affiliate.

"He was humble from his Midwest roots, but he was very intelligent, a very kind person," his son said. "He touched a lot of people's lives. He was very generous."

Brinker grew up on a small farm near Carroll, Iowa, and attended school in nearby Mt. Carmel.

After high school, he went into the Army and served as a supply sergeant during the Korean War.

Following his military service, he went to Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., concentrating in business and accounting.

In 1955 he married Gayle Rupiper, who was his sister's housemate and also grew up in Iowa.

He worked for a major Nebraska accounting firm. Then in 1963, the couple and their young family moved to Santa Rosa after a business associate told them it was a desirable place to live.

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