Robert Earl Brinkley, Sr.

August 4, 1931 - July 4, 2023

08/04/1931 - 07/04/2023

Past Services

Friday July 07, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie
205 NC Highway 42 W
Ahoskie, NC 27910
252-332-3122 | Directions
Saturday July 08, 2023
11:00 am
Chapel of Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie
205 NC Hwy 42 West
Ahoskie, NC 27910
Saturday July 08, 2023
11:30 am
Highland Memorial Gardens
US 13 South, 109 Ward Road
Ahoskie, NC 27910

Robert Earl Brinkley Sr. died July 4, 2023, surrounded by his family at ECU Health in Greenville, NC after a brief illness.

Robert Earl Brinkley Sr. was born to David Ralph Brinkley Sr. and Bertie Alleen Brantley on August 4, 1931, and was raised in the Center Grove Community, attended Ahoskie High School, and graduated in 1950.  He began dating Carolyn Early in high school where they fell in love and married at a young age in 1951.  They recently celebrated 72 years of marriage on June 10th.

Soon after marriage, Robert Earl was drafted in 1951 during the Korean Conflict into the United States Army and after basic training in Kentucky, he was stationed at Stuttgart, Germany. He achieved the rank of corporal/company clerk and received an honorable discharge in 1953. After returning home, he worked several different jobs and farmed to provide for his family. In 1963, he was employed by Planters National Bank, which later became Centura Bank, in the Trust Department in Ahoskie specializing in Farm Management.  After retiring from the bank in 1990, he opened his own farm management business known as REB Farms Inc. which remains operational today.  His love has always been agriculture and recently he and his wife were recognized by the North Carolina Department of Agricultural Century of Farms for owning a farm that had been in Carolyn’s family for over 100 years and which they still own today.

Robert Earl always believed in community involvement.  Because of his love for agriculture, he has also served on the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association, the North Carolina Society of Farm Managers (20 years), the United States Farm Service Association (42 years), the Hertford County Soil and Water Conservation Board (41 years), the Hertford County Farm Bureau (35 years) and was a member of the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce and a Board Member of the Ahoskie Rural Fire Department where he served as Treasurer for over 40 years.  Robert Earl was also part of the Ahoskie Lions Club and during his membership in the Lions Club he served as President and received the Jack Stickley Lion of the Year Award by the North Carolina Lions Foundation. He received several more community awards over the years and most recently the Roanoke Chowan News Herald Front Page Award.  He was part of the Chowan University Christian Service Association at Chowan University.

He was a member of the Center Grove Baptist Church during his childhood and later became a member at Earlys Baptist Church and has been a member for over 72 years. He served as Deacon, Sunday School Director and Treasurer for several decades and was very instrumental in several remodeling projects and two major building projects at the church.

He has spent his entire life in the Roanoke-Chowan Area.  His love and care for the community and people in the Roanoke-Chowan Area was unmeasurable.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, David Ralph Brinkley Sr, sister Nellie Mae Brinkley Dilday and grandson, Andrew Colby Brinkley.

He had three sons, Robert Earl Jr. “Bob” (Carol) of Raleigh, NC, Don (Debra) of New Bern, NC and Doug (Susan) of Ahoskie, NC. They have seven grandchildren: Christie (Vicki), Robert III, Justin (Leah), Jared (Joanna), Jessica (John), Jenna (Brandon), Elizabeth (Noah) and seven great-grandchildren: Alli, Will, Davis, Parker, Owen, Wells and Chesson.

Flowers are welcomed or you may contribute directly to Earlys Baptist Church Inc., 310 Early Station Road S, Ahoskie, NC 27910; or you may donate online by clicking here

The family will receive friends Friday, July 7, 2023, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service, Ahoskie, NC and other times at the home.

A celebration of life funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at 11:00 am at the Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel, Ahoskie, NC, with Rev. Dr. Jesse J. Croom, and Rev. Joshua Prosser , officiating. Burial will follow at Highland Memorial Gardens.

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Brinkley family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting


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Billie Heath
9 months ago

I am so sorry to hear about your father’s passing. He was a great man

William R Jernigan
9 months ago

The Jernigan family would like to offer their sincerest condolences in regards to Mr. Brinkley’s passing. He was a great friend and mentor to all of us. I will miss our many conversations that we had together.

Rob and Katherine Jernigan
Kathy Jernigan Ward

Carlisle Campbell Jr
9 months ago

Elizabeth, Noah, and family; Cindy and I want to express our condolences in the loss of your grandfather. We are praying for God’s comfort and peace to comfort you and your family during this time of grief.

9 months ago

Doug & family, so sorry to hear of the loss of your father You all have my heart felt love & sympathy. Keeping you all in my prayers.. God be with you all at this time giving you all strength, comfort, peace,& most of all His Love..

Greta Lassiter
9 months ago

Doug, my condolences to the Brinkley family. May God continue to give you comfort and strength during this difficult time.

Patti Northcott Henning
9 months ago

Mrs Carolyn, Doug, Don and family, I am deeply sorry for the loss of your loved one. Mr Brinkley was a kind man who will be greatly missed but remembered for the love for his family, community and especially the Lord. Prayers for comfort for each of you.

Sonya Askew-Williams
9 months ago

To Mrs. Carolyn, Doug & Susan and the Brinkley Family. On the behalf of the Volunteer Service Department at Roanoke Chowan Hospital we extend sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. We know words alone will never fill the void left however we hope that knowing others care and have you all in their thoughts and prayers will help in time.

Barbara Matthews
9 months ago

Prayers for Carolyn, their family. Robert Earl was such a nice person and will be missed by all.

C.L. Sumner
9 months ago

I knew Mr Brinkley all my life,he and my dad were good friends.After a career in agriculture with N.C..State university, I begin a second career in the crop insurance business.Our offices were across the street from each other and I was a frequent visitor.We shared a love of farming and local history and we had many conversations on both topics.I most certainly will miss them.

Ruth Martinez
9 months ago

Doug I send condolences to you and your family.Mr. Brinkley was a wonderful man and I will truly miss him.Much love to you and your family.