Today's Featured Biography
Melville Gibbons Brinson, Jr. was born November 24, 1937 in Waycross, Georgia, as the first child of parents: Melville G. Brinson and Mary Posey Brinson. Due to his father’s work in a family owned highway construction business, he attended several elementary and junior high schools in Sanford, Florida, Fort Myers, and Tampa, and graduated from Fort Myers Junior-Senior High in 1956, having participated as a member of its football, basketball and swimming sports programs.
After graduation he entered the University of Florida, studying Civil Engineering and enrolled in the first of his four years in ROTC. After 3 ½ years in the engineering program, he switched majors, and in 1961 he graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Agriculture with a degree in Animal Science. While still attending college, he married high school and college classmate, Sidney Ann Bass, of Fort Myers. Their first son was born a few months before he received his degree. Through ROTC, he had committed to military service, and the family next spent 2 years in France while he served as a Second Lieutenant with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, overseeing the construction of roads and bridges as well as guarding our ammunition depot in that country. Their second son was born during his tour in France; their daughter was later born in Fort Myers and the family was completed.
Upon the family’s return to the United States, Mel worked for a time with Johnson Engineering, a part of which included surveying portions of the Edison Mall. Later, he entered into a partnership with Ira Bobo, and they bought and managed Deep Lagoon Marina for a number of years. Some of the family’s efforts included land investment, and after successful sale of some industrial property on what is now Metro Parkway, they were able to purchase acreage east of Estero, and formed Corkscrew Ranch, a cattle ranch where their children helped as (un)hired hands. Eventually the ranch property was sold and he retired from the cattle business.
Mel and Sidney Ann supported a number of prominent community organizations and activities including Rotary, the Edison Pageant of Light, and the Edison Home Foundation.
Mel was also a lifelong Gator supporter, not only as a sports fan with a Bull Gator membership, but also with financial support in the form of The Brinson Family Fellowship, which provides scholarships to students in the College of Business Administration.
In 1990 Mel moved with his family to Saint James City on Pine Island, where he retired and lived until his death March 12, 2012. Mel is survived by his beloved wife, Sidney Ann, by his three children: Melville “Brin” Brinson, III (Peggy), Donald Lee Brinson (Ann), and Suzanne Brinson Clapp (Thomas). He is also survived by six grandchildren, Donald Lee Brinson, Jr., Chelsea Brinson, Brittany Brinson, Suzanne C. Brinson, Robert “Shep” Brinson, and Thomas C. Clapp, Jr., as well as by his brothers George (Alva), and Steve (Susan) and their families, numerous cousins, nephews, nieces, and grand nephews and nieces.
Mel enjoyed fishing, hunting, boating, watching the Florida Gators play football and many other activities. He was blessed with many close friends and family members who will all miss him greatly.
A memorial service will be held at Pine Island United Methodist Church, 5701 Pine Island Road, Bokeelia, FL 33922, (239) 2832386, Monday, March 19, 2012 at 3:00 P.M. Anyone wishing to attend is welcome. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that anyone wishing to do so make a donation in Mel’s name to the Fellowship he established
at the University of Florida. Gifts can be made in two ways, either by check made out to “Fund #3465, The Melville G. Brinson Family Graduate Fellowship (in Business Administration)”, mailed care of the University of Florida Foundation, attn: Gift Processing, P. O. Box 14425, Gainesville, FL 32604. A gift to the Fellowship by credit card can also be made calling : 1 (877) 351-2377 and providing the name of the fellowship and the fund (#3465).
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