Sadly we’ve lost a wonderful, magnificent human being. A great husband and father to some. A leader in the community and business world and a dear friend to so many, including myself.
Robert Brinton loved his dear Mesa, always promoting and encouraging business and tourism to check out Mesa. Robert was known as "Mr. Mesa’s Visitors and Convention Bureau." His passion has always been directed toward his beloved Chicago Cubs, and he kept that passion until his dying day.
We all know about his love and commitment for the Cactus League. I’m going share a well-kept secret about this man who stepped out of his comfort zone in 1996 and became the man behind the scenes who led Mesa's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday drive.
Our group, after twice trying to pass the holiday, came up short both times. Robert Brinton got on board with the third effort and our vehicle had major horsepower. He made the conference rooms available for the MLK committee to meet and plan the work and work the plan. Many who sat on the fence came across when Robert endorsed our drive. He provided many services, financial help and his influence opened many doors for us to be successful. His only request was to stay undercover on the sidelines and out of the media during that campaign drive.
I only found out this week after 15 years why he tried to remain anonymous. Robert received several calls and a few threats from foes upset about the MLK holiday drive. Another person this week shared that Robert and his son were putting out Proposition 408 pro-holiday signs on a busy street corner and a man drove by cursing at him and swerved his car towards them.
I became emotional upon hearing that this week. I’m sorry, Robert, to blow your cover now on the MLK campaign drive but I feel compelled to let citizens know something they didn’t know about your compassion and true character. A man once said “the true meaning of a man is not where he stands during time of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenges and controversy."
Robert I know on Friday when you left us the first thing you heard was "Well done my good and faithful servant.”
We’ll all miss and love you, my brother
• John R. Goodie is a Gilbert resident and a Mesa MLK committee member.