Farm Aid's Willie Nelson called her "the angel on the other end of the line"
By: Linnea Crowther
1 month ago
Mona Lee Brock counseled tens of thousands of farmers through crises as a prominent volunteer at the National Farm Center Crisis Hotline. Brock began volunteering with the hotline after she and her husband lost their own farm in 1985, and he died shortly afterward of a heart attack. Brock became widely known for helping farmers so desperate in the wake of foreclosures and bankruptcies that they were considering suicide. She continued working on crisis lines for farmers into her 80s.
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Died: March 19, 2019 (Who else died on March 19?)
Details of death: Died at home in Durant, Oklahoma of congestive heart failure at the age of 87.
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A notable friend: As nonprofit organization Farm Aid worked to help farmers through crises, Brock became affiliated with their hotline, and she was featured in their 2015 documentary, "Homeplace Under Fire." She met and befriended Farm Aid's cofounder Willie Nelson, who called Brock "the angel on the other end of the line" for the many lives she saved and farms she helped.
Brock on the work she did: “You can imagine the humiliation and the shame and the guilt and the denial. When they phone in, the one thing I impose upon them is the fact that they aren't failures. They have not failed.”
What people said about her: “Mona Lee was the prow on the ship of advocates taking farmers' calls. She had an enormous capacity to handle the most extreme and horrific moments. She had a calmness that made people think they were being listened to. She saved a lot of farms.” —Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid
“Mom was on the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She hang up the phone, put her face to her hands and just start crying. Lost another one, you know.” —Brock's son, Ron Brock
Full obituary: Washington Post
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, he or she should not be left alone. Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides free, confidential support for people in crisis or emotional distress, 24/7 year-round. The Lifeline also offers an online chat for people who prefer to reach out online rather than by phone.