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Tuesday, May 3, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Seattle Man Was Third Brother Who Died

When free-lance photographer Bryan Brinton told his cousin he was leaving Seattle to take pictures in war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina,

she shuddered at the mental snapshots she's saved 23 years.

Darice Konkler pictured Brinton's oldest brother, James, dead at 25. On a June day in 1971, he set out on a kayaking expedition, hoping to paddle from La Push, Clallam County, to Japan in 70 days. His empty kayak was found a few days later, and his body found by fishermen.

She remembered Brinton's second oldest brother, Dorian, dead at 24. He died less than a year after James's drowning, in a scuba-diving accident near San Juan Island. His body was never recovered.

She looked at Bryan, new to the field of photojournalism, and the youngest of the three boys from West Seattle.

"Everyone tried to talk him out of it," she recalled. "I said, `Bryan, you're the only one left in your family.' I said, `Please don't go.' "

"He said, `You're like a sister to me. If anything happens to me, remember I will always love you.' "

Brinton was killed Sunday morning when his car drove over a land mine near Mostar in southwestern Bosnia-Herzegovina, on a road that had been marked as mined. A photographer/interpreter for Spin magazine was also killed, and a third occupant, a novelist and Spin writer, was injured.

The 44-year-old Crown Hill resident had been running his own landscaping business, but went to Bosnia on the invitation of a friend. Photography was a new passion he found.

He arrived in Bosnia late last month. Through the Queen Anne News/Magnolia News, he secured press credentials, offering the weekly newspaper first publication of his photos. He had called them because it was the only phone number of a newspaper he could remember when he got there - he had used the weekly for advertising his landscaping business.

Konkler and her family are trying to arrange for Brinton's body or ashes to be sent back. A memorial service will be held, but details have not been set.

Jack Arends, editor of the Queen Anne News/Magnolia News, established a fund in Brinton's name to help pay for shipping Brinton's remains back to the States. Donations can be made at any Seafirst Bank to the Bryan Brinton Memorial Fund, Account No. 91442939.

Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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