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11500 Arlington Ave
Riverside, CA 92505
(951) 689-1441
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George Alfred Brooks


1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
George Alfred Brooks Obituary
GEORGE ALFRED BROOKS
Age 89, was born on January 8, 1928, in Mesa, Arizona. He passed on February 23, 2017, in Riverside, California. He was a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, Uncle, Brother, Neighbor, Friend. He was the third of four children born to Albert and Elma Brooks. A resident of Riverside, California for the last 81 years, George Brooks was an Educator, Administrator and Professional Musician. George was an active participant in life and sought to provide the citizens of Riverside with Culture and Arts.
George came to Riverside with his family as a young child from Arizona. He was educated locally graduating from Poly High School in 1946, where he was mentored in music and trumpet under the renowned "Lester Oaks". He enlisted in the United States Army and played trumpet with the United States 754th Army Air Force Band, stationed in the Aleutian Islands.
He furthered his education by attending and earning his Bachelors Degree at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and his Masters Degree at Long Beach State University. He held State Credentials for Teaching and Educational Administration.
Out of college, George started teaching as the Director of Music at Fallbrook High School, in Fallbrook, California. In 1954, he returned to Riverside and focused on giving back to his community, and to providing opportunities to young minds in culture, music, and arts.
He began his life's passion with the Riverside School District as the Music Director at Central Middle School. In 1958, George was assigned as the Music Director for Ramona High School, where he started Ramona's first marching band. In 1960, George was selected as the Director for the Riverside and San Bernardino Area High School's Honor Band. George also passed on his passion of music and the trumpet by providing private lessons and mentoring to countless young players.
George served for 10 years as a Judge for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, where he adjudicated marching band and symphony orchestra competitions.
In 1961, the Riverside School District recognized George's expertise and extraordinary talent, when they promoted him to Director of Instrumental Music for the District K-12 program. The City of Riverside selected him as the Director of the Riverside Symphony Orchestra. As the Director, he was instrumental in starting the free, "Concerts in the Park" at Fairmount Park and other parks across the city, to expose more citizens to Music and Art.
Even after George retired from the School District, he remained active with the District and his community by continuing to coordinate the Lester Oaks Music Festival and Parade, here in Riverside.
As a professional musician, specializing in the trumpet, he performed with the Big Bands of Les Elgart, Claude Gordon, Joe Venuti, Bill Alexander, Chris Davis, Lou Dokken and others. He performed with the Redlands Bowl Symphony Orchestra, Riverside Symphony Orchestra, Riverside Opera Association Orchestra, San Bernardino Light Opera Orchestra, San Bernardino Valley Symphony Orchestra, University of Redlands Symphony Orchestra and more.
George met, fell in love and in 1954 married a Riverside native, Alicia Donnelly, an educator for Riverside Schools. For 42 years, they loved each other and raised a family of five children. Alicia passed away and a few years passed when he met Ethel Valenti. Again, that love bug hit and they were married in 1998, for 17 years, until Ethel passed.
With such a full active life performing and educating the youth of Riverside, George still placed a priority on his family. Participating with his children or just watching his children's events and activities. During the summer taking the family on vacations traveling the U.S., camping, fishing, and having family fun time. His passion of always whistling music and Big Band tunes while tending his yard, fruit and citrus trees and garden. "Get in the car, fruitcake", "Come on snickle frits", or calling all the girls "Susieque", he had his own funny way to get your attention and express his love. Just a few of the fun memories we think of, when we think of him.
George is survived by his 5 children, 18 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren, his sister, and scores of nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
We Miss You and Love You Dad. We will talk about you and tell your stories to our children, nieces and nephews. You will still be alive in us all. Your Family.
George's Service: Pierce Brothers Crestlawn Memorial Park, 11500 Arlington Ave..,Riverside, CA 92505. (951) 689-1441. Viewing: Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 5pm - 8pm. Funeral Service: Thursday, March 9, 2017, 10am.
Published in Press-Enterprise on Mar. 5, 2017
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