Marie K. Brooks
March 8, 1926 - April 4, 2020
Mrs. Marie K. Brooks, born Jewel Marie Kyles, to Hallie Mae Mott and Oliver Kyles, March 8, 1926 in Havana Arkansas, passed away peacefully in her home in San Francisco on Saturday, April 4th, 2020 at the age of 94. Marie is preceded in death by her husband Ellis Brooks Sr., her second husband Dale B. Seesee, her son Arthur E. Brooks, and her step-daughter Linda Hagemann. She is survived by her son Ellis Brooks Jr., her daughter Hallie Cheryl Brooks (Alameda), her grandson John Brooks, her great grandchildren Bellah Marie Brooks, and John Dale Ronald Brooks, her step-daughters Ann Brooks and Cathey Goodman, her half-brother Bob Leslie, as well as a number of step-grandchildren and great grandchildren to whom she was lovingly known as Grandma Marie or simply GG.
Marie left Arkansas in 1943 to travel, with her mother, to California where they both worked building liberty ships for Kaiser Shipyard, in Richmond California. It was during this time that her love affair with San Francisco began. Marie reluctantly returned to Arkansas with her mother after the war, and briefly attended the University of Arkansas before returning to California in 1946 to settle in to her newly adopted home of San Francisco. Upon returning to California, Marie found work in the automobile business. Starting as a telephone operator, and working her way up through various office positions, where she eventually met her husband to be, Hudson dealer, Ellis Brooks. Marie became more involved in the automobile business as Ellis' health deteriorated. By the early 1960's, she was often at "the store", working with Ellis, and building on her past knowledge of the industry to develop working relationships with both the local business community as well as with Chevrolet. In 1963, Marie was instrumental in the formation of Ellis Brooks Leasing, a successful automobile and equipment leasing company. In 1968, she was formally recognized by Chevrolet ,and became the first woman ever to be signed as the Dealer Operator of a Chevrolet Dealership in the United States.
In addition to expanding her reach in the automobile business with a pair of smaller dealerships in Elko, Nevada and Yreka, California, her devotion to both family and business led her to become involved as a founder, and ultimately Chairman of the Board, of Western Women's Bank, a locally owned San Francisco bank. Marie was also active in the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, The San Francisco Downtown Association, and Rotary Club of San Francisco. In 1993, Marie was appointed by Governor Wilson to serve on the California Department of Motor Vehicles Board. Although she refused to get on an airplane, Marie also enjoyed the time she spent serving on the San Francisco Airport Commission.
Whether she was driving too fast down Route 66, looking for the best pie or a fun local honkey tonk, enjoying Thursday night Karaoke with friends, a quiet dinner out at The Cliff House, Sunday services at her beloved Lake Merced Church of Christ, or hosting Warriors, 49ers and Academy Awards viewing parties in her beautiful home, she never stopped! Her love of life, and her caring, loving, strong spirit which has been an inspiration to many, will be remembered and missed by all who knew her.
Marie will be laid to rest, in a private ceremony next to her parents, in Havana, Arkansas on Wednesday, April 15th. Due to the current state of our world, we are unable to have a public memorial service at this time. We will be having a local memorial service for all those who wish to celebrate her life with us once life gets back to normal.
If you would like to be notified of this event, whenever it may be, please send your contact info to MarieBrooksMemorial@protonmail.com
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (www.bcan.org
), or to the cancer research organization of your choice.