Thomas R. Brooks

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Thomas Reed Brooks was born on April 21, 1925, to Norman E. Brooks and Mildred Reed in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He died on May 25, 2016, in Reston, Virginia, after visiting his granddaughter, Jody, and family.
During World War II, he served in Italy with the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division, which he chronicled in his book, "The War North of Rome." After the war, he attended Harvard University, graduating BA cum laude (class of 1950).
He married Harriet L. Schumacher in 1949. They were married 66 years and had three children: Christopher, William, and Karen. At this reckoning, there are seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren (with three on the way).
Thomas Brooks worked for various publications, including Reader's Digest, and then embarked on a long career as a freelance author. His books include "Toil and Trouble," a history of the labor movement, and "Walls Come Tumbling Down," a history of the civil rights movement.
Both of his houses, in Brooklyn and Vermont, were lined floor to ceiling with books. He valued quality, but was no snob. An independent thinker, his political philosophy moved, over time, from Norman Thomas to William Buckley. Undergirding this shift was a consistent, deep belief in freedom. The quintessential American, he lived under the heel of no man. On the personal level, he consistently supported never coercing his three children in their various endeavors. He was a great dad.
A memorial service will be held at the Pleasant View Cemetery in Ludlow Vermont at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2016.
Contributions in his memory would be much appreciated and can be made to the Andover Community Fund, the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Heifer International and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Published in Rutland Herald on June 3, 2016
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