May 8, 1971 – August 20, 2020
Ross Steven Brinkert of Glenside, Pennsylvania, died peacefully on August 20, 2020, in his home, surrounded by his loved ones.
He had brain cancer for the last thirteen months, which he met with grace, and on his terms. Ross was born in Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock, B.C. on May 8, 1971. He attended Peace Arch Elementary and Earl Marriott Secondary Schools. He grew up cleaning offices in the family business from the time he was six. He was a distinguished student, winning many awards throughout his early academic career. He was an avid skier and achieved Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance level 1 and 2 certificates at age sixteen and became a ski instructor, teaching young children to ski at Cypress Mountain in B.C. At age seventeen, he spent a year as a Rotary Exchange Student in East London, South Africa, where he met his future wife, Colby Keyser an exchange student from
Pennsylvania. They were married in 1997 and have two daughters, Eshen and Sagan.
Ross attended first year university at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He then transferred to the Communications Studies program at Concordia University in Montreal where he graduated with distinction. Ross completed his MA and PHD at Temple University in Philadelphia, in Applied Communication Management. He began working at Penn State University, Abington, Campus where he has continued to teach as an Associate Professor of Corporate Communication for the past fifteen years. Ross loved teaching his students, working with his colleagues, and connecting with people and helping them find meaning and purpose. Ross’ love of travel spread to his students as he planned and organized trips to Japan providing an opportunity for them to experience Japanese culture within the corporate setting. In addition to his tenured professorship, Ross authored and co-authored three scholarly books. He was a member of the National Communication Association, Training and Development Division where he received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award and was honored in having the Division’s Rising Star Award be permanently renamed, The Ross Brinkert Rising Star Award.
Ross was an avid athlete. Although skiing was his first love, he enjoyed running, biking and swimming. His desire to set high reaching goals for himself led him to compete in multiple marathons and triathlons, including a half ironman triathlon. He ran the Philadelphia marathon twice and participated in a half marathon in North Vancouver.
Ross was a gentle, compassionate man who took time to make you feel like you were the most important person in the room. He asked questions and listened; he remembered the details and made people believe that they were important, worthy and could achieve anything. He taught people to be kind and gentle, to be grateful, and he responded to everyone he met with thoughtful compassion. Ross had a smile across his lips every day of his life, spoke of gratitude every hour of the day and attempted to find good in every struggle he faced.
Ross’ love and dedication for his family was evident in his everyday life. He enjoyed spending time with Colby and his girls. He shared his love of tea with them, creating a family tradition of nightly teatime. Ross and his family enjoyed traveling. As a family they experienced many trips overseas together creating everlasting memories. Ross loved to take walks and hike with his family while enjoying the beauty of nature. He and his family enjoyed spending time in their mountain home in the Catskills, New York.
Ross is survived by his wife, Colby, his daughters, Eshen and Sagan, his mother, Rosie Rothe Sieg, his father, Ingo Brinkert, his brothers and families, Richard (Ingrid), Kerry (Tobi), his step siblings, Oscar Sieg and Heidi Hartwell and family, and many aunts, uncles and cousins and friends. Ross’ celebration of life will be held on September 8th at 4 p.m. EST at The Cairnwood Estate, 1005 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn, PA. It can also be accessed through a Zoom link. Please contact Rosie Sieg if you wish the link. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Ross’ daughters’ education funds through e-transfer using the following email address: EshenAndSaganEdFundCanada@gmail.com
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