The recent memorial service for longtime Fort Worth Weekly writer Betty Brink was impassioned, irreverent, and entertaining, just like the woman herself. Family members recounted stories, recited a poem Brink had written, and read letters they’d written to her on her 80th birthday not long before she suffered the stroke that led to her death on Dec. 10. Local musicians Ed Rogers, Deanna Scotland, Barbara Taylor, and Jeff Gibbons performed songs such as “If I Had A Hammer” and “Imagine.” State Rep. Lon Burnam characterized Brink as his “collaborator, co-conspirator, and comrade,” and delivered a scattered, funny, and ultimately touching eulogy, noting that he was the only elected official to attend. Brink, after all, torched officials more often than not.
Reading the Lord’s Prayer was the Rev. Kyev Tatum, whose accusations of racial discrimination in Fort Worth schools found a hearing with Brink. A little later, community activist Eddie Griffin, who sometimes disagreed with Brink’s coverage of the school district, got up to talk about his admiration of her as a reporter. The Rev. Paul Roach mentioned the more than 40 regional, state, and national awards Brink had won and “the difference she made in the lives of ordinary people.”
The Weekly’s profile (“Fighting For Justice To The End,” Dec. 12, 2012) revealed how Brink was permanently banned from Lamar University in the late 1960s because of campus rabble-rousing. The story quoted Brink’s daughter, Becky Yarbrough, threatening to spread some of her mom’s ashes on the Lamar campus. Although Burnam mentioned possible efforts to have that ban removed posthumously, Yarbrough, with a glint in her eye, said she might still spread some ashes on the campus.
Daughter Deb Maguire talked about her mother’s fight against injustice and to give a voice to the disenfranchised — her light against the darkness. “My charge to you today … is to never, ever let that light go out,” she said.