Noted Disability Advocate Passes

City of Alameda
City of Alameda

Noted Disability Advocate Passes

A beloved member of Alameda’s Commission on Persons with Disabilities and a familiar sight around town, Arnold Brillinger, passed away on May 19. He was 72 years old. Known to his family as Arne, he was born in Zeven, Germany on Nov. 11, 1948, to Waldemar and Ida Brillinger.

Arne was devoted to his faith, love for teaching, and fam¬ily — including many friends he considered family. He grew up in Whittier, Calif. and attended Concordia College, both in Oakland and River Forrest, Ill. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in teacher training. He then returned to Oakland where he taught in Lutheran parochial schools for nearly 40 years.

Later in life Arne became wheelchair bound, but that didn’t stop him from being dedicated to improving the lives of others. He became a voice for disabled people all over Alameda County serving on the East Bay Paratransit Rider Advisor Committee, as well as the aforementioned commission.

In his personal life, he was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church participating in worship, Bible study, leadership, service and fellowship. He also enjoyed visiting with his favorite niece and nephew and grandnieces to share in his love for travel, photography, sports, gardening, and raising birds.

Arne never married. He is survived by his sister and her husband Helene and Robert Austin; nephew Greg Austin; niece Brenda Stephenson, her husband Walter Stephenson III, and their three daughters, Caitlin, Kelci and Claire. He is also survived by numerous cousins and their families, as well as his family of friends.

Services were held on May 27. Arne was laid to rest next to his parents at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, Calif. In lieu of flowers, donate to Immanuel Brillinger Mission Fund c/o Immanuel Lutheran Church, 922 Lutheran Church Rd. Copperas Cove, TX, 76522.