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Joan Bertrand BROOKS


1937 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Joan Bertrand BROOKS Obituary
BROOKS, Joan Bertrand Joan Bertrand Brooks, age 80, lately of Atlanta, GA died October 7, 2017. The cause of death was heart failure. Born February 19, 1937 in Oneonta, New York, she was the first of three children and only daughter of Jules Carl Bertrand, of Nyk?bing Falster, Denmark and Susan Thomas Bertrand Jones Mahony of Rockingham, NC. Joan developed polio at the age of 2 and experienced substantial paralysis in her legs that was treated throughout her childhood and early adolescence at the Warm Springs Institute for Disability in Georgia. However, she was not defined by her disability and like many among her generation of polio survivors, pursued a vibrant full-bodied life. She spent her early years following her father's oil business to Lockhart and Abilene, TX before her family settled in Pinehurst, NC. Joan was educated at St. Catherine's School in Richmond, VA as well as at Brillantmont International School, Lausanne Switzerland. While a student at Smith College majoring in art history, she met her husband Elmer Johnson Brooks of Concord, MA. She later earned a certificate in landscape design from George Washington University and enhanced numerous urban parks and residential gardens in Washington, D.C. including the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House and National Historic Site. A charismatic, nimble conversationalist, she brightened any room she entered and made fast friends of strangers. She was active for many years at St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, for which she designed the columbarium in which her remains will be placed with those of her husband who predeceased her in 2005 after 45 years of marriage. Joan and Elmer avidly traveled the world and especially enjoyed a temporary assignment during the 1980s with IBM in Frankfurt, Germany, where they were well known as "that couple of funny Americans on the tandem bicycle". In retirement, they lived in Beaufort, NC, where they ran Island Hardware on Emerald Isle, and later moved to Wilmington, NC where she was an active member of St. James Episcopal Church. Wherever she dwelled, Joan's home and life were filled with the joys of small animals, riotous springtime colors, and fellowship. Joan was also a loving mother of two children: a daughter, Mittie Jenet Brooks Rooney of Bethesda, MD, the wife of Curtis Rooney and mother of Joan's two grandchildren Caitlin Rooney and Thomas Rooney; and a son, John Trow Brooks of Atlanta, GA and his partner, Todd F. Fibus. She is also survived by her two brothers: William Thomas Bertrand of Wilmington, NC and John Edward Bertrand of Trion, GA and his wife Nancy Bertrand. The family is particularly grateful to the staff of the Renaissance on Peachtree for the loving care they provided Joan in her last years and the Atlanta Hospice. A funeral service will be held Friday, November 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm at St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square. In lieu of flowers, donations for the church in Joan's name may be sent to 1525 H St NW, Washington, DC 20005.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Oct. 15, 2017
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