Ward Arnold Brinkerhoff was born Feb. 7, 1961, in Gillette, to Marian Zeller Brinkerhoff and Arnold Edward Brinkerhoff, on his dad’s birthday. It was his father that started calling him Pep because “he scooted around with a lot of pep” and the nickname stuck. Pep was taken from us far too soon, on Sunday, Nov. 29.
Pep spent his growing up years in Moorcoft and Powell. Pep went to Powell High School, where he played basketball for the Powell Panthers. He graduated from high school in 1979. He worked many jobs as a young man. He drove truck for the dairy in Powell, and his family benefitted from the cheese and ice cream he would bring home. The oil industry brought Pep to southwest Wyoming — first to Rock Springs, then Evanston.
He met Christina Staley at a playground basketball court, and three years later they started dating, which kept him in Evanston. Pep and Christina were married on April 18, 1987. They were later sealed, along with their three daughters, for eternity in the Bountiful LDS Temple on April 18, 1998.
Pep was the original “Girl Dad.” Kelsey Jo, Lindsay Marilee and Laurel Lee were his pride and joy. He never learned to do their hair, but he was always down for letting his toenails be painted, his hair “fixed.” Pep supported his girls in whatever they did — marching band, softball, volleyball and basketball. He wanted to be with them and traveled the state to do so.
Pep’s love for Chris was unquestionable. He was her protector and confidant for more than 33 years. Pep was also known to be a big outdoorsman with a passion for hunting. He started out hunting with his dad and brothers in the Big Horn Mountains. Then later they came with him to the Greys River. Pep showed many nephews throughout the years the art of bow hunting. Every August, they would come from all over to sit in Pep’s antelope blind in order to get the big one.
Pep belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many callings, but his favorite was Priest Quorum advisor. He served the young men of the Yellow Creek Ward with love and fun. Pep worked for Uinta County School District No. 1 for 30-plus years, most of it at Evanston High School.
He will always be a Powell Panther at heart, but came to love the Evanston Red Devils. Pep’s easy going and friendly way always drew people to him. Little kids and dogs love Pep. There isn’t anyone Pep wouldn’t reach out to help. He has pulled over in many snowstorms to get someone unstuck and back on the road. Pep was so kind and would never hesitate to lend a hand when there was a need.
Pep is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Christina Brinkerhoff; daughters, Kelsey Brinkerhoff of Evanston, Lindsay (Derek) Wehrle of Evanston and Laurel (Joseph) Gonzalez of Lander; father, Arnold Brinkerhoff of Powell; siblings Bonnie (Bob) Zabel of Gillette, Bart (Jan) Brinkerhoff of Powell, Gary (Margaret) Brinkerhoff of Powell, Mark (Kathy) Brinkerhoff of Evanston and Brian (Shauna) Brinkerhoff of Tampa, Florida; and scores of nieces and nephews.
Pep is preceded in death by his mother; sister, Cathy Jo Brinkerhoff; brother, Bruce Brinkerhoff; and father-in-law LaMont Staley.
A viewing will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Crandall Funeral Home in Evanston on Friday, Dec. 4. Following the guidelines in place, masks are required. With concerns for COVID-19, a private family funeral will be held. A live stream of the service will be provided by Crandall Funeral Home at crandallfhevanston.com.