James Brooks (1925 - 2015)

Obituary
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  • "General Brooks was one of the best officers with whom I..."
    - Shirl C. Boyce, Jr.
  • "I came to know Jim Brooks as we developed the Idaho..."
  • "We lived in Garden Valley, Ida for seveal years and each..."
  • "My deepest sympathy to the family. May the "God of tender..."
    - Becky
  • "Georgia, and families, What a special family you had. I..."
    - Bert Adams-Westmark
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James S. Brooks
February 16, 1925 - June 29, 2015
OBITUARY JAMES S. BROOKS February 16, 1925 - June 29, 2015
Major General James (Jim) Sprague Brooks was born in Los Angeles on 16 February 1925 to Julian (Pat) and Louise (Sprague) Brooks. He was raised in Southern California by his maternal Grandparents and died of natural causes at his home in Seattle, WA on 29 June 2015.
Jim was raised during the Great Depression years but enjoyed the "laid back" culture found in the beach community where the younger generation spent much of their spare time enjoying beach related activities. He graduated from Newport Harbor Union High School in 1942 - just 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
After working for a year on the construction of Army camps he enlisted in the Army Air Forces in April 1943. He went through the Aviation Cadet Program and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and awarded his Pilot Wings in August 1944. After combat training he was assigned to and flew with the 90th Bombardment Group in the Pacific Theatre - the Philippines and Okinawa. Following the end of WWII hostilities he served a year with military government in Japan on the southern island of Kyushu. He returned to the U.S and was released from active duty in October 1946.
In May of 1947 Jim moved from California to Boise, Idaho to attend Boise Junior College (BJC). He married the former Loa M. Woolf that year and enrolled at BJC. At the same time he enlisted as a "traditional" (part time) member of the Idaho Army National Guard. Following two years at BJC he then transferred to Oregon State College graduating in 1951 with a BS degree in Civil Engineering. Upon graduation he was offered full time employment with the Idaho State Military Department.
During the next fourteen years Jim served in many different assignments with the Guard; both civilian and military. He was promoted to Captain in 1951, to Major in 1957 to Lt. Col. in 1961 and Col. in 1964. In 1964 he was also selected to be Assistant Adjutant General and Chief of Staff of the Idaho Army Guard and served in that position for ten years. In December 1965 he was promoted to Brig. General. During this time he returned to flying status in 1954 and flew for a total of 35 years of his career. He was awarded recognition as a Master Army Aviator.
In 1974 Governor Cecil Andrus appointed Jim to be the Adjutant General for Idaho and Commander of both the Idaho Army and Air National Guard. As additional duties he was also appointed as Chief, Bureau of Disaster Services and Director of Selective Service for Idaho.. He was promoted and awarded Federal Recognition as a Major General in June 1975.
During his tenure as Adjutant General, Brooks also served on several committees at the National level including Chairman of the Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee with responsibilities to advise the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army on Reserve and
Guard affairs. He also served as Aviation consultant to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. His military decorations include the American Theatre Service Ribbon, the Asiatic Pacific Theater Service ribbon with three battle stars, the WWII Victory Medal, The Philippine Liberation Medal, the Japan Occupation Medal, the Idaho Military Service Ribbon for over 30 years of service, the Selective Service Distinguisher Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster (2nd award) and the Army Distinguished Service Medal - among other awards. Clearly a long and distinguished career.
Jim retired in 1985 after 42 years of military service. During those years and following retirement he was involved in many community activities. He served as a member and rotating Chairman of the Boise Airport Commission for 27 years, as an original member of the Boise City Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, as Chairman of the Boise Mayor's Transit Advisory Committee, as Chairman of the Idaho Transportation Department's Public Transportation Advisory Council, as Chairman of the Boise County Planning Advisory Committee, as a member of the Greater Boise Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee, a member of the Idaho Law Enforcement Planning Commission, a Board member of the Boise City-Ada County Housing Authority, Chairman of the Eagle Sewer Board and President of the Pacific Heights Homeowners Association in Eagle, ID.
Jim and his wife Loa raised three children. Georgia who was 2 when they were married, Kerri, born in 1951 and J. Pat born in 1954. Kerri passed away from cancer in 1983 leaving one daughter, Nikki Morgan, who was raised by her father Tom and step-mother Beth in Tennessee. Loa Brooks passed away in 2008.
Jim remarried in 2010 and is survived by his wife, Joan Brooks of Seattle, his sister Patricia Furtado of Vista, CA, his daughter Georgia Solls of Peoria, IL, his son Pat Brooks of Portland, OR and his granddaughter Nikki Morgan of Cordova, TN and stepchildren, Randy (Tina) Hodgins, Melissa (Roger) Breakfield and 5 step grandchildren.
Burial is Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 10:00 at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery, 10100 North Horseshoe Bend Road, Boise, ID. !

Published in Idaho Press Tribune on July 11, 2015
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