|Birth: ||Jun. 10, 1914|
|Death: ||Sep. 30, 2009|
Donald K. Brooks passed away in Carson City, Nevada. Born and raised in Quincy, Illinois, Brooks graduated from Quincy High School in 1931, the Quincy Conservatory of Music in 1932, and Western Illinois University, as a music major, in 1935.
As a piano player, trumpet player, and instructor, Brooks began earning money as a musician while still in high school by giving lessons and playing in dance bands. As a college student, Brooks performed in one of the "big bands" in that region, traveling by train from his college town on weekends to earn a living during the depths of The Great Depression.
Following his graduation, he took a job as head of the music department at La Grange, Mo., High School.
In 1937, he drove his mother in his new 1937 Chevrolet to Sanger to visit relatives. While in California, he attended the Graduate School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC), in their master's program. Upon returning to Illinois with his mother, he received a contract from the principal of Sanger High School to take over the band program at the school.
Upon accepting the offer in Sanger, he and his fianceť, Eleanore Capps, were married on June 11, 1938. Before coming to Sanger, he again attended graduate school at USC.
After taking the band director job in Sanger, Brooks took his first band to perform at the 1939 World's Fair in San Francisco. In the following years, the Sanger band participated in a continuous succession of parades, football games, and concerts, where the band won many awards for their performances.
Beginning in 1958, Brooks changed to teaching business courses for the last 15 years of his teaching career.
After retirement, he worked in real estate sales for Carter Realty in Selma for several years.
Concurrently, with his full-time employment, Brooks directed the Sanger community band, and the Tehran Temple Shrine Band, holding the latter job for 40 years. He also played his trumpet in various small jazz band groups over the years, and often thrilled audiences with his trumpet solos. As a trained concert pianist, he also performed on that instrument on many occasions. He was still playing his trumpet and entertaining people within days of his passing.
Brooks was a member of the Sanger Masonic Lodge, a member of the Shrine, and the Jesters, as well as numerous other organizations.
He was also a member of the Sanger First United Methodist Church.
Brooks lived in Carson City for the past nine years in order to be near his son and daughter-in-law, who reside in Glenbrook, Nevada. He was most definitely a loving, caring, and wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
He is predeceased by his wife, Eleanore, in 2004, after 66 years of marriage; and his older brother, Dr. Charles H. Brooks of Center, Mo.
He is survived by his son, Donald, Jr. and his wife Kathe. He leaves two grandchildren, Heidi Kinzel and her husband Brian, and Scott Brooks and his wife Andrea. There are step-grandchildren, Cheryl Walsh and her husband Warren, and Scott Morrissey, and nine great-grandchildren.
There will be a private family Graveside Burial at Sanger Cemetery on Friday, October 16, 2009.
A public Memorial Service will be held at Sanger Community Church, located at 1610 Jensen Avenue in Sanger, on Friday, October 16, 2009, at 11:00 a.m.
A reception will be held in the church social hall immediately following the service. Friends are invited to attend.
WALLIN'S SANGER FUNERAL HOME
1524 9TH Street
Sanger, California (559)875-6555
Published in Fresno Bee on October 11, 2009
Created by: Toni
Record added: Oct 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42956709
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