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Arthur Brooks

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Arthur W. Brooks Jr. "Junior"


Junior died Thursday morning, Dec. 13, 2012, at the Vermont Veteran's Home in Bennington after a period of declining health.

He was born in Englewood N.J., on April 14, 1924 to Arthur W. Brooks, Sr. and Verina Wiswall Brooks as they returned to their Vermont home. Junior grew up living On the So. Wardsboro Rd in Newfane. As a very young child he lived and worked on local farms, for Guy Grout and the Tuttles. He often spoke of these times and the things he learned. His love of nature and farming, and stewardship of the land continued throughout his life.

He attended schools in Newfane and Brattleboro before enlisting in the Army at the start of World War II, entering in June of 1942, serving three and half years before being discharged in Dec. 1945. He was first shipped to Panama, spending a year and a half guarding the Panama Canal before being shipped to Europe, where he was an automatic rifleman serving in General Patton's 3rd Army, 71st Infantry Division as an advanced guard. After landing in Le Harve France his Division marched north 1060 miles over a period of 92 days, being the 1st Allied force to enter Austria from the west. At the war's end they were at the eastern-most point of any U.S. Army in the European theater. They relieved the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne and crossed theRhine into Oppenheim, Czechoslovakia. Junior was awarded the European African Middle East Theater Campaign Ribbon, the American Theater Campaign Ribbon, Expert SMG, Expert BAR 1st Class Gunner Classification, Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal, and Victory Medal.

Upon return from the service, he was fortunate enough to meet his soulmate, Gladys Ella Lightfoot They were married during a candlelight service at the Methodist Church in Winhall, Vt., on May 28th, 1948. They lived briefly in Newfane before making their home in Jamaica, Vt., where they lived 56 years together until Gladys' death in April 2004. As a young man, Junior worked as a painter in his father's business and in the machine shops in Springfield, Vt. He loved nature and longed to be outside, so he left the shops shortly after his return from war, and for the balance of his life was self employed in outdoor occupations. He first began logging with a team of horses, and this was always his favorite job. He suffered several significant injuries while logging and eventually started construction and landscaping. where he was accompanied by long-term employees and friends, Tom and Raymond Fletcher of Jamaica, Vt. Many homes in the area have beautiful stonewalls or ponds that he designed and built He was known for his work digging cellar holes, building driveways, and caretaking and this continued until his retirement

Junior is fondly remembered by his grandchildren for his love of nature and broad knowledge of Vermont wildlife and landscape, his ability with woodcarving and sketching. and the spring days spent in his garage during sugaring season.

Junior's grandchildren hold many funny and wonderful memories of their time spent together at his beloved camp in Stratton, He had a fabulous dry wit and loved mischievous jokes. He was able to see possibility and promise whether in renovating a home, studying the sky, building a garden, or in mentoring and helping the younger generations to love their town, land, and country's history.

He is survived by two children, James C. Brooks and companion Nell Hallonquist of Jamaica Vt., Jeanette Gladys Underwood and "son" Greg Underwood of Wardsboro, Vt. He had five grandchildren, Amy Shaw and husband Jeffrey of Springfield Vt, Beth Pierson and husband Charles of Jamaica, Melissa Derecola and husband Chris of Seattle, Wash., Patrick Brooks of Boston, Mass., and Rachel Brooks of Brattleboro, Vt., Junior had four great grandchildren, Kristian & Derek Pierson of Jamaica, and Ella and Avery Shaw of Springfield, Vt.

He always felt his greatest accomplishment was his family, loving his children, grand children, end great grandchildren beyond measure and always taking the greatest pride in their accomplishments. Junior is also survived by three siblings, Dot Massengale of Parish, Fla., Norman Brooks of Newtane, and Tom Brooks of Brattleboro, Vt.

He was predeceased by three siblings, Winifred Holden, Robert Brooks and Alfred Brooks all of Newfane.

He was a member of the Mason's and Mt. Lebanon Chapter of the Eastern Star in Jamaica. He had served on the Jamaica Select Board, Jamaica Cemetery Commission, and a former member of the Jamaica Fire Dept

The family will be available for a time of Remembrance and Sharing at Junior's home at 72 Depot St. Jamaica, Vt., on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 from 2-4 PM. All who knew Junior and wish to share their memories are welcome at this time of fellowship. A private burial will be held in the spring at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests making a donation to the .
Published in Brattleboro Reformer from Dec. 19 to Dec. 20, 2012
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