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Friends, family remember longtime fair booster with plans for memorial

advocate - Brian Herinckx, who died Jan. 9, was active nearly 30 years in 4-H programs

For most of his life, Brian Herinckx was a fixture at the Washington County Fair.

Over the last decade, as superintendent of the swine barn, he guided visitors through the pens and helped budding 4-Hers take care of their hogs.

Herinckx won't be reprising his role this year. The 50-year-old died Jan. 9 in a head-on collision north of Cornelius.

But friends and family have set up a memorial fund to remember Herinckx's life and his contributions to the fairgrounds in hopes that his legacy can live on.

Carla Stables, Herinckx's cousin, said that the fund was a natural way to remember a man who introduced her to her husband, John, and influenced so many lives.

Fitting tribute

Donations to the fund will go toward upgrading the swine barn that Herinckx spent so many years taking care of.

Stables said that it's difficult to tell at this point how big the response might be, but the sky's the limit for her.

'The project has several phases depending on how much money is raised. The obvious first phase is to replace the current pens because they have become a safety hazard,' Stables said.

'There's a potential of putting a new building up if this all works out - and if that's the case, we'll have a big barn raising and the whole shebang,' she added.

Glen Spiesschaert of Forest Grove said that'd be a fitting tribute.

Herinckx worked part-time for Spiesschaert as a welder to supplement his work for the City of Hillsboro. Before Herinckx got the job in Hillsboro's maintenance department, he worked for Spiesschaert full-time.

His sister, Gwen Neale, remembered that Herinckx always scheduled his annual vacations so he could be at the county fair.

Speisschaert said that Herinckx was a good friend and that he didn't suffer when his Nissan truck was struck by another car that morning.

'The rest of us are the ones at the loss - he's in a lot better place,' Spiesschaert said.

Herinckx was also a Fair Booster, cooked at the annual Verboort sausage dinner and served as president of the Washington County Livestock Association.

He was born in Hillsboro on Aug. 1, 1957, one of eight children of John J. and Florence M. (Evers) Herinckx. He grew up on their family farm in the historic area of Centerville, near where he died.

Herinckx, who graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1975, was active in the Hillsboro FFA chapter there.

He had been a Verboort Livestock 4-H leader since 1990 and served as swine superintendent for the county fair since 1995. He was also an FFA Alumni chairman while his children were students at Hillsboro High School between 1994 and 2001.

Donations to the memorial fund can be made at Oregon First Community Credit Union and are tax deductible. Stables said that donations of $1,000 or more will be listed on the banner that hangs on the pig barn.