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July 2, 1930 - June 22, 2014 MIDWEST CITY On Sunday, June 22, 2014, John R. Brooke "Dick," 83, was called home. He was born in York, Nebraska on July 2, 1930 to parents, Alice (Carlson) and Laverne Dean Brooke. Dick attended York High School and York College. Immediately after graduation from York College, he joined the United States Air Force. After Boot Camp, he returned to York specifically to ask his girlfriend and love of his life, Joyce King, to marry him. His favorite story was that she turned him down the first time but he was persistent until she said yes. Dick and Joyce were married on June 6, 1954 in Great Bend, Kansas. Dick was first stationed in Des Moines, Iowa, then Wichita, Kansas, and finally Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City. He served our great country in the Korean War and after ten years of active duty, took the opportunity to remain at Tinker Air Force Base in a civilian capacity working in the Personnel Division, where he made lifelong friends. Although he retired from active duty, Dick remained active in the USAF Reserves for another 20 years and retired as a Lt. Colonel. Since 1957, he attended the First Presbyterian Church of Midwest City where he had a permanent address on the back row. In 1964, he and Joyce adopted their baby girl and only daughter, Barbara Kay. For many years, Dick was a volunteer sheriff for Oklahoma County often riding along with the Midwest City Police Department. He was active at church serving on session, conducting the kitchen class, and coordinating mobile meals. Dick loved art, music, history and the military, often visiting museums and cemeteries with Medal of Honor recipients. Dick retired from civilian personnel in 1986 at the age of 55. "Retirement" consisted of many hours of doing things with Joyce, being a Papop, eating with friends at Jimmy's Egg, Don's and Chequers, reading, collecting things, working in the yard, preparing mobile meals and visiting friends in the hospital. Dick was a true gentleman. He was wise, loving and compassionate. He was honorable, humble, kind and always listened. He was straight-forward and truthful and was a mentor to many in his professional life. He loved all young people and loved having Barby's friends over to his house. He was a generous and loyal friend and a rock to all. Dick was the perfect example of a husband, dad and papop. 2011 was a tough year as Dick lost his first and only granddaughter, Kylie Brooke Jobe, to a drunk driver and six months later, after 57 years of marriage, his beloved Joyce was taken from him by brain cancer. In 2013, Dick moved to Wichita to be closer to his daughter, Barby. He lived at Reflection Living where he was cared for by a wonderful staff and home health nurse, Mary. He is survived by his daughter, Barby and his two grandsons, Kavan and Kaden Jobe, "daughter #2," Leslie Walbridge Freeman and special neighbors"Tiger," JonAnn Roper and Linda Albritton Bunn, his loving sister, Barbara and her husband, a true brother and friend, Chuck Kaiser and niece Kathy and her husband Kurt Polzin, along with many other family and friends.Viewing will be on Thursday at Ford Funeral Home in Midwest City from 8 am - 8 pm with family visiting friends from 6-8 pm. Services to celebrate Dick's life will be held at 11 am on Friday, June 27, at First Presbyterian Church in Midwest City. Burial will follow at 1:30 pm on Saturday, June 28, at Greenwood Cemetery in York, Nebraska. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in his name to Red Earth Museum or the 45th Infantry Division Association. For more information or to leave condolences for the family refer to fordfuneral.com

Published in The Oklahoman on June 26, 2014
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