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Life Story / Obituary
Lawrence “Larry” Brooks was a good natured and loving family man. Known to be sentimental and easily emotional at times, he loved people and had the type of personality that made others think they had known him for years. He was a wonderful storyteller who loved to be social and was blessed with the gift of gab. His laughter, his jokes and his way of making everyone he met feel special will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Despite the Thirties being marked by tough economic times, the decade also saw an expansion of new technologies, especially in the fields of aviation, radio, and film. In 1937 for example, the Golden Gate bridge opened giving Americans renewed pride and a new air record was set by Howard Hughes completing a flight from Los Angeles to New York. In the same year, Amelia Earhart took off from Miami attempting to achieve a flight around the world. Future U.S. President Ronald Reagan made his film debut with the release of the film, “Love Is on the Air” and President Franklin D. Roosevelt took his second term in office. Bringing great joy to their world, Lucian and Irene (Berky) Brooks welcomed home their loving son, Lawrence born on November 15, 1937 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His birth brought them much promise in an ever changing world.
His parents, especially his father, can be credited for raising him with a strong work ethic. Larry grew up a member of a large family on a family farm on 6th street. Most of his childhood included memories of working on the farm and running the neighborhood with his siblings. Larry attended local schools in Kalamazoo including St. Joseph and Old Central and proudly served his country as a member of the United States Army. One can not forget the memorable day he met the love of his life, Ida Marion in the year 1958. She was working at Ham’s on the Square, a local restaurant in town and it soon became Larry’s favorite hang out. The two of them dated for three years before they joined in marriage on a warm summer day of July 7, 1961 in the quaint town of Angola, Indiana. Together, he and Ida raised five beautiful children. They instilled in each of their children strong values and life skills including those they were taught; having a hard work ethic and a good sense of humor. Larry was a lifelong resident of the Kalamazoo area, and worked a remarkable fifty one years for the United States Post Office. He also worked as a security guard at Charles Services, a gas station attendant at Town Talk Gas Station and also a company that inventoried retail stores. Mostly, however his work involved the same route on Portage’s Angling Road where he was well liked by the people in the community. During the course of his entire career with the postal service, he had only been bitten by a dog twice! Before he retired, he was honored with a special award for forty five years of commitment and service, an award that Larry was very proud to receive. He was also featured in the Kalamazoo Gazette for his 50 year milestone at the U.S. Postal Service.
Larry had many special interests over the years. He was an avid sports fan of the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Lions and followed the great football of Notre Dame. When Larry wasn’t working, he loved to take Sunday drives and day trips with his family to the Tigers Stadium. While the kids were still home, he also enjoyed many years of taking the family to the Drive In movies. Known to relax by playing music, his family has many fond memories of him playing records from the 1950’s on the family’s stereo console. A favorite pastime was spending time with his family at their lake home at Sandy Pines Resort near Hopkins, Michigan. Considered to be a homebody who simply enjoyed time with his children, he did manage one memorable trip to Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula over the years. He became an active member of the Eagles and later in life, he spent many hours on the golf course, at the bowling alley and on the fast pitch softball fields. He was never one to remain idle. As for favorite foods, he was known to have a great disdain for fish, yet he would never pass up his favorite meal; steak!
Although he was a loving father, nothing brought him more joy than being a grandpa and a great grandpa. He loved sharing all of his special talents and hobbies with them and loved to make them laugh. Larry was a simple man with a big heart. He was well liked by his peers and even animals seemed to be drawn to him. So much can be said about a man who gave of himself, who cared deeply for others, and who lived his life to the fullest. Larry leaves behind a rich legacy of humor, love and friendship. His cherished memories will live on in the hearts of many for years to come.
Lawrence “Larry” Brooks Sr., “Larry the Mailman” age 78, died on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at Bronson Hospital. Learn more about Larry and visit with family and friends on Tuesday from 5-8pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo where services will be held Wednesday at 1 pm. Burial will follow at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park. Members of his family include his five children: Larry (Toni) Brooks, Raymond (Neng) Brooks, Martha Livezey, Gerald Brooks and Veronica (Bryan) Kingsley, eight grandchildren: : Lawrence Brooks, Alyssa Brooks, Nerizza Brooks, Amber Kingsley, Raymond Brooks, Lauren Kingsley, Liberty Kingsley, Bryan Kingsley and one great grandchild: Alexa Brooks. Other members of his family include his two sisters: Roxanne Brooks and Regina Briggs, his brother Edward Brooks and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Ida Brooks in 2004, and two sisters: Carolyn and Lorraine Brooks. Please visit Larry’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association.