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K. Brooks Abernathy


1918 - 2001 | Obituary Condolences
K. Brooks Abernathy (1918-2001) passed away in Austin, TX, on February 14, 2001, after a prolonged illness. He was 82. Brooks was born in Missoula, MT, on August 30, 1918, to Austin and Evelyn Abernathy. He had two older siblings, a brother Hadley and sister Carol. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Iowa and then to Evanston, IL, where they resided for many years. In Evanston, Brooks attended Northwestern University where he met his wife of 58 years, Susan Carolyn Koskinen. They were married on March 7, 1942. After graduation from Northwestern in 1941, Brooks was recruited by General Electric to join their three-year business program in Bridgeport, CT. He continued to work for the General Electric Credit Corporation (now GE Capital) for 21 years. In 1962, he began a 21-year career with the Brunswick Corporation; ultimately, he became Brunswick's CEO and Chairman. He retired from the company in 1983 but continued to reside on its board of directors as well as on the boards of several other companies until the age of 70. Brooks and Susan were longtime residents of Winnetka, IL, where Brooks was a director of Evanston Hospital, a fundraiser for Northwestern University's Graduate School of Business and a Trustee at Trinity United Methodist Church in Wilmette, IL. Brooks and Susan were also philanthropic, creating professorships and scholarships at Northwestern University and The University of Texas at Austin. Brooks was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He will be greatly missed and always remembered for his love and kindness. He is survived by his wife Susan; his daughters and their husbands, Lynn and Ken Stokoe of Austin, Gail and Terry Dickrell of Hudson, WA, and his son and daugher-in-law, Ken and Joanne Abernathy of Elkhorn, WI; five grandchildren, Susan Stokoe Grundman, Emily Stokoe Kiger, Andrew and Christopher Dickrell and Brook Abernathy; four great-grandchildren, as well as his brother, Hadley Abernathy of Tucson, AZ, also survive him. His parents and his sister Carol Battistelli preceded him in death. The family would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to Brooks' caregivers for the loving care they provided him during his long illness: Lillie LaRue, Barbara Swisher, Leatha Carter and Mercedes Montemayor. The family also wishes to thank the staff of Westminster Manor for their care and kindness. In the spring, a memorial service for Brooks will take place at Trinity United Methodist Church in Wilmette, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association National Chapter, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60611-1676, 800-272-3900, or the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Inc., 710 W. 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, 800-457-6676.
Published in Chicago Tribune on Feb. 18, 2001
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