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Brooks Spivey Creedy

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Brooks Spivey Creedy 1917 - 2009Life-Long Civil Rights Activist and Champion of Underprivileged Youth. ARLINGTON Brooks Spivey Creedy was born in Natick, Mass., spending her early childhood there until her family moved back to their roots in Nashville, Tenn., when she was nine. She grew up in Nashville and Atlanta. She received the top academic award the Elliot Medal for her high school class of 483. She went on to Agnes Scott College for Women in Atlanta, graduating at the age of 20. Greatly influenced in college by her professor, Dr. Arthur Raper, a distinguished sociologist active in the struggle for racial integration, she chose to work for racial justice throughout her career. She did graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and subsequently at Columbia University and Queens College. Brooks Spivey married John Alan Gough Creedy on Dec. 17, 1938, after which they enjoyed a 60-year partnership until his death in 1999. She worked for the YWCA in Durham, N.C., where John worked as both a reporter for the Durham Herald Sun and editor of a union newspaper for tobacco, hosiery and cotton workers. She was on the staff of the Southern School for Workers during the summers. At 25, she was asked to move to New York City to join the National Industrial Staff of the YWCA, an independent program working with young women industrial workers, which also focused on fighting racism. She became the head of the Southern Region in this work. At one summer conference for industrial girls at a camp in North Carolina, (which was integrated) the Ku Klux Klan threatened to burn the camp. Brooks was able to defuse the situation and continued the conference by negotiating with the town leadership of Hendersonville, N.C. as well as the Sheriff and various ministers. She ultimately involved the National YWCA Board which contacted the North Carolina governor who helped broker a resolution. She authored Women Behind the Lines, published by the Woman's Press chronicling the work of the YWCA-USO with women war workers. In 1948, she suspended her career to raise her family which ultimately included four children Judith, Alan, Kathryn and Scott. While raising her children she continued as a freelance writer for the American Labor Education Service and the Mental Health Association in Westchester County, N.Y., where she and her family resided. Kathryn and Scott are residents of Bennington and North Bennington, respectively. Brooks returned to work in 1968, working on a study of mentally impaired children. She later became the director of the volunteer network at Wiltwyck School, a residential treatment center for young boys from inner-city areas of New York City. In 1974, after New York State mandated the development of a volunteer program in every probation department, she was recruited to launch a program in Westchester County and went on to supervise its growth. The Westchester County Probation Department program won a National Association of Counties Award for her work. After six years, Brooks went on to launch Runaway and Homeless Youth Network of Westchester County and became its executive director. She was also an officer of the Westchester Chapter of National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Upon her retirement in 1983, the Westchester County Executive proclaimed the day Brooks Creedy Day in honor of her long service to the community. Having vacationed in Vermont for 20 years, Brooks and John moved to Arlington, Vt., in 1983 where he continued his work as President of the Water Transport Association, representing inland water carriers and she applied her valuable career experience as a youth advocate volunteer. She served on the board of Sunrise Family Resource Center during the 1980s and was part of Family Mediation Service started by the Social and Rehabilitation Services. She also served as a guardian ad litem and was on the board of Center for Restorative Justice in its diversion program. Brooks was a founding board member of Regional Affordable Housing and served a term as its president. She leaves her brother, Albert Guy Spivey of Kennett Square, Pa., as well as her children and their spouses: Judith Creedy of Mount Kisco, N.Y., Alan and Cathy Creedy of Raleigh, N.C.; Kathryn Creedy of Bennington, Scott and Debby Creedy of North Bennington. She also leaves seven grandchildren, Benjamin Spencer Creedy of St. Joe, Mo., where he lives with his wife, Erin, and daughters, Isabelle and Ella May; Laura Brooks Creedy Corbett of Raleigh where she lives with her husband, David and their children, Bryce and Stacey. She also leaves her Vermont grandchildren, Matthew Prescott Creedy, Mark Harrison Creedy and Samuel Lucas Creedy of North Bennington; and Alexis Cecilia Creedy and Schuyler Brooks Susana Creedy of Bennington. For those wishing to make contributions in her memory, donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center through Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home P O. Box 957 Bennington, Vermont 05201, would be greatly appreciated. FUNERAL NOTICE: Services for Brooks will be held Saturday morning May 30, 2009 at 11 a.m. at HANSON-WALBRIDGE FUNERAL HOME 213 Wet Main Street Bennington, Vermont. Rev. John Eusden will conduct the service. There will be a visiting hour at the funeral home from 10 to 11 a.m. one hour prior to the service. A time of fellowship and refreshments will follow in the Green Room at the funeral home. To send the family personal email condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com. The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home 213 West Main Street Bennington, Vermont.
Published in Bennington Banner on May 29, 2009
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