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Donna BROOKS Obituary


Donna J. Brooks died June 30, at home and at peace. She was born Oct. 10, 1951, the daughter of William and Jean Brooks, who both predeceased her, and grew up in the Unionville section of Farmington.She graduated from Farmington High School in 1969; from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, in 1973, and from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1978. She was one of the first women to practice law in Litchfield County. She and her law partner, Judith Dixon, founded the practice of Dixon & Brooks in 1982 - still the only all-woman practice in the county. She specialized in personal bankruptcy - helping people get out from under their financial travails - and was seeing clients the week before she died. For the past 30 years she lived in New Hartford, 29 of them with her husband Robert Miller. At various time in her life, she was an alternate on the town's Board of Finance, a member of the Board of Directors of the Licia and Mason Beekley Community Library; a director of the New Hartford Land Trust and a member of the New Hartford Democratic Town Committee. She served on school building committees and on the committee that guided the town to the purchase of Brodie Park. While plagued with medical problems for much of her adulthood, she refused to be defined by them. She lived a good and full life. An avid birder, she traveled with her husband in the United States and Europe, binoculars in hand. She was a passionate and dedicated gardener, who was out in the yard, knees muddy, from March to October. She was a wonderful cook who canned and preserved her way through the seasons. She was an expert seamstress. If she found a book she liked, and that was often, she would give herself to it wholeheartedly. And in the last decade of her life, to her great satisfaction and delight, she discovered her gifts as an artist whose mosaics grew more complex and beautiful with the years of her making them. She was, more importantly, a wonderful person - smart and decent, thoughtful, funny and loving. Faced with a long list of infirmities, and increasingly in pain from them, she accepted them and lived with them with toughness and great, uncomplaining grace. She is greatly missed. She is survived by her husband, Robert Miller; three sisters, Diane Janson of Bolton, MA, Deborah Brooks of Granby, and Dorothy Plona of Simsbury, one brother, Dean Brooks of Bristol, R.I.; her sister-in-law, Polly Miller; her brother-in law, Jon Miller; nine nieces and nephews; and 12 great-nephews and nieces.
There will be a service of loving remembrance on Aug. 7 at 2 p.m. at the Beekley Library, 10 Central Ave., New Hartford. Memorial gifts can be made to the Licia and Mason Beekley Community Library, PO Box 247, New Hartford CT. 06057 or the New Hartford Land Trust, PO Box 272, New Hartford, CT 06057 .The Montano Shea Funeral Home will be in charge of the arrangements.

Published in The Hartford Courant on July 6, 2011
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