Marie Brooks
1926 - 2020
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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
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (, or to the cancer research organization of your choice.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Apr. 11 to Apr. 12, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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19 entries
August 8, 2020
Philip Porter
July 26, 2020
As her neighbor for 20+ years, Mrs. Brooks always gave us a warm smile and a friendly wave. Rest in peace Mrs. Brooks, you will be missed.
The Lui Family
June 8, 2020
Words cannot express the sadness that I feel with the passing of Marie "Mom". She was a classy woman with a beautiful sense of passion for her family and for the businesses she created. Her family and friends were her life. I know she is with Arthur again and for this I smile because I know that shredded her heart, as did mine. Rest in peace Mom we'll take if from here. Happy to hear through that there is no speed limit in Heaven for both and Arthur as well. Love you to the moon and back.
Karen G. Rathe
May 2, 2020
I met Mrs. Brooks when I was the assistant to the president and the board of directors of Marshal Hale Memorial Hospital in the mid- to late-80's. She was one of the few women members of the board, and her insight and business acumen were valued. I greatly admired her intelligence, savvy, and elegance, and I always appreciated her kindness, humor, and graciousness. She was a wonderful role model!
Susan Dan
April 20, 2020
Marie! What an amazing woman. We met in 1973 when she bought a condo at Lakeland Village in South Lake Tahoe. I was a very young single mom and she promptly adopted me. I spent many years visiting at her beautiful home, enjoying her friendship, attending many great holidays, and just being together. She was truly like a mother to me. She and Dale were both so kind. Dinner at the club, days on the boat, shows at south shore, seeing her at the dealership. She was one of the main reasons I moved to San Francisco. Forever in my heart. A great lady!
Denise Mitchell
April 15, 2020
Mrs. Brooks was a faithful customer to the Villa d'Este and we will miss her dearly. She was the epitome of grace and class and treated us with great respect. She touched three generations of our family. We will miss her dearly and we offer our deepest condolences to her family. May she Rest In Peace. Oropeza family.
Villa d'Este Restaurant Oropeza Family
April 15, 2020
Mrs. Brooks was truly one of a kind. I worked for her for 26 years, spoke
To her often and she always lifted my spirits. I'm so grateful to have known her. That was a once in a lifetime experiene.
Rest In Peace Mrs. Brooks.
Respectfully Gary
April 15, 2020
I am really saddened by Marie's passing. I had the incredible opportunity to send several hours with her when I visited a friend in San Francisco
few years back. What a wonderful classy lady who lived life to the fullest to the very end. It would be my greatest wish come true if I lived my next 20 years as she did. She was my hero. Rest in peace Marie. Love, Sandra
April 15, 2020
Semi-pro baseball in San Francisco existed large in part due to the generosity of Marie Brooks and Ellis Brooks Chevrolet! Hundreds of young men had a chance to play and fall in love America's past-time and some were lucky to make it to the pros, because of their amazing sponsorship. May the angels lead you into paradise, Mrs. Brooks, and thank you for making life in our City that much better!
Andrew Martin
April 14, 2020
I'm so sorry to learn this about such a wonderful and delightful lady. Marie was always welcoming and a true professional. I enjoyed our professional relationship and our friendly visits and chats we would have from time to time. Marie was a pioneer in the business and more specifically the car business world. No matter what the circumstances she was truly a pleasure to be around and one that will be missed. She was pure and total class!
Gary Spinella
April 13, 2020
Mr. and Mrs. Brooks sponsored the renowned Ellis Brooks Semi-pro baseball team for many years.

She always provided manager, Vince Zuardo, with the best of everything.

More importantly she was a gracious, warm person to all.
April 13, 2020
Ms. Brooks, we knew you only a short time, but we really admired so much about you: your work ethic, the way you made time for everyone so masterfully, your business-mind, your thoughtfulness about others, and your generosity. We honor you today. You are missed, but we celebrate the Father you are now with!

With Love,
The Parrish Family
April 12, 2020

Dear LORD, please hear our prayers and bring comfort and peace to her dear family and friends. As we grieve her passing and struggle with today's challenges of not being able to gather together in Celebration of Her Life, for possibly months to come; until some future date ... We will remember the love ❤... we will always have our treasured memories with Mrs. Marie Brooks.

Lord, please whisper in Marie's ear for me, tell her how much we all love her and cherish all our wonderful times shared. How much I admire her faith and friendship and appreciate her strength of character, grace, and courage; her work ethic, sense of humor, timing and adventure; above all ... her love ❤of family and friends.

Tell her what a blessing she is to all who know her, were inspired by and got to see her glorious, beautiful spirit♥ Thank her for a lifetime of AWESOME, of laughter, tears, walks and drives in the rain ... memories we will, all of us, always have our own fabulous memories, and carry a part of her in our hearts
No longer in pain, reunited with loved ones, ... now in Heaven, where I've heard they have no Speed Limit !!!
... Jesus carried her home in the early hours on 4/4/2020 on a beautifully rainy day! She loved the rain
till we are together again ♥. Missing her smile and laughter, feeling blessed with over 20 years of unforgettable memories. Cherishing every mile and every moment ...
Thank you, Marie, for your friendship
Lin-Z Lerond
April 12, 2020
Deepest sympathies to the family. Marie was truly a Jewel and will be missed by many. Farewell my Dear Friend - until we meet again. With love and prayers for comfort. LH
April 12, 2020
A lady of strength, humor, candor and wisdom. Like many women of her generation, were we electing female Presidents in the 50s she would certainly have been considered. It was an honor and a pleasure to work with her. Sincerest condolences to her family and staff.
Melissa Batchelder
April 11, 2020
A great friend of San Francisco Rotary. RIP.
Judith Garvey
April 11, 2020
April 11, 2020
April 11, 2020
RIP Marie,

For those of us who grew up in the city, who can ever forget that tune..."seeee Ellis Brooks today for your chevrolet, the corner of Bush and Van Ness, he's got a deal for you ohhhh what a deal for you, a chevy deal that you will like the best...

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