Wednesday, July 31, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
St. Margaret's Catholic Church
766 South Farmer Street
Otsego, MI 49078
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Family or Charity of Choice
Life Story / Obituary
Rick Brooks was a genuinely authentic person who modeled a lifetime of hard work and sincere compassion for others. A loving and supportive husband, father, and grandfather, he wanted nothing more than to spend time with his growing family. An influential civil servant, for the past nineteen years he committed his time and resources to the community he loved serving as Mayor of the city of Plainwell. Rick’s sincere kindness and loyal friendship will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
The 1950s were known as the decade of the baby boomer. Television was gaining in popularity and families joined together in living rooms across the nation to witness professional baseball player, Mickey Mantle, the rock music icon, Elvis Presley, and to watch the popular western, Gunsmoke. Proud parents Richard and Ethel (Clark) Brooks welcomed home their newborn son, Richard, on July 18, 1951, in Unionville, Missouri. Born the youngest of six children, he was an important asset to their family during an exciting time in our nation’s history.
Raised by a set of hard-working parents, his father was a coal miner and his mother worked at a local nursing home, Rick learned the value of a hard day’s work from an early age. He lived a typical childhood of the times in Kalamazoo where neighborhood kids were still known to play a game of baseball until they were called home to dinner. A good student, he attended North Glade Elementary where he was well-liked by his classmates. Later, the family relocated to Plainwell where Rick graduated with the Class of 1971 from Plainwell High School. Fresh from school, Rick set off to work at a local metal factory saving up enough money to purchase an engagement ring for his high school sweetheart, Theresa! Eager to start a family of their own, they joined in marriage on June 23, 1972, and settled in Plainwell where they made their forever home. Over the course of their years together, they welcomed home three wonderful children; Bryon, Chris, and Peter.
As a father, Rick was very active in his children’s lives. He never missed an opportunity to attend a special celebration or sporting event and often coached or contributed to their success in any way he could. Known to take them on spur of the moment trips to Cedar Point, there was never a dull moment in the Brooks household! Nurturing as well as loving, there simply wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his family. Faith was important to both him and Theresa and they raised their children with a strong Catholic foundation. Sadly, when they lost their oldest son, Bryon, they leaned on their faithful church community as well as their special friends and family to help them through a difficult time. As much as he enjoyed his role as a father, he was over the moon when he was blessed with grandchildren! Rick purchased the annual Super Book each year for coupons to all of their favorite places and enjoyed exploring area parks to make new and lasting memories. They were his richest reward and he was immensely proud of each and every one of them!
Rick was never one to remain idle and held various positions over the years. Beyond his years at the metal company, he worked at Midway for a short time as well as delivered Cadillac Coffee. A steadfast provider, he also worked as an animal control officer for Allegan County and spent many years working with the Plainwell School Recreation program. As Mayor of Plainwell, he touched countless lives. His favorite responsibilities as Mayor were the annual tree lighting ceremony kicking off the holiday season as well as the opportunity to marry a large number of couples including many special friends and family members; even his own children. He was a Plainwell man through and through and many people enjoyed sharing a conversation with him at the local Joe’s Pizza and Sports Bar in town. Working hard to support the community he loved, Plainwell residents will surely be at a loss without his special presence at many of the future festivals, parades, and events.
In addition to his work outside the home, he also savored many special pastimes. He loved his Detroit teams and always kept up with the current stats of the Tigers, Pistons, and Lions. Win or lose, he was a loyal fan for many years. He enjoyed playing pitcher on a slow pitch softball team and share camaraderie with the other team members. Each Thanksgiving they played a family football game where Rick was known to commentate! He had quite a sense of humor so it was no surprise that watching the videotape put everyone in stitches! A music lover his entire life, Rick enjoyed music trivia and mostly favored listening to blues and classic rock. When it came to food, he liked plenty of it! Never picky as an eater he treasured a fresh baked good and never turned down a slice of homemade pie! Reliable, trustworthy, and thoughtful, without a doubt Rick will be deeply missed. May his loved ones honor his life by sharing his compassionate nature with each and every person they come across in the years to come. Rick felt blessed by the life he lived and would want nothing more than the very best for all those he leaves behind.
Richard “Rick” Brooks, age 68, of Plainwell, Michigan went to be with his son, Bryon, on Thursday, July 25, 2019. He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family. Rick is survived by his lovely bride of 47 years, Theresa; his children: Chris Brooks and Peter (Amber) Brooks; five grandchildren: Braylin, Mason, Brylee, Colin and Taylor; his siblings: Deloris Schau, Dennis Brooks and Donald (Margaret) Brooks as well as several nieces and nephews. Along with his parents and his son Bryon, he was preceded in death by his mother and father in-law: Shirley and Bill Hileski; his brothers-in-law: Martin Schau and Joe Hileski and his sister-in-law, Pat Brooks. Friends may meet with the family at McCowen & Secord Funeral Home Marshal & Gren Chapel; 120 S. Woodhams St. in Plainwell, on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 from 4:00–7:00 PM with the funeral mass being held on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 11:00 AM at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church; 736 S. Farmer St. in Otsego. Interment will take place at St. Margaret’s Cemetery in Otsego. Memorial donations may be made in Rick’s name to the family or a charity of your choice.