William "Bill" Brooks

WILLIAM “BILL” H. BROOKS, JR., age 81 of Waseca, died on Friday, September 23, 2016 at Oaklawn Care Center in Mankato and is now playing music again with friends and family in heaven.

Born on October 24, 1934 at the Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis, he was the son of William H. and Genevieve (Dixon) Brooks Sr.  He graduated from Robbinsdale High School in 1952.  From 1952 to 1956 Bill attended MacPhail College of Music in Minneapolis.  He then enlisted into the U.S. Air Force, and auditioned for the SAC (Strategic Air Command) Band of the U.S. Air Force at Offut Air Base in Omaha, NE. Bill was an active member of the SAC Band from 1957-1961.  The group traveled to all parts of the United States, Greenland and Newfoundland.  He was one of the many select musicians who entertained troops & presidents, creating many friendships that have lasted for 58 years.

In June of 1958, Bill and his wife, MaryJo, met, fell in love and were married Feb.21, 1959.  Five beautiful children followed over an eleven-year period.  Bill’s first teaching job in Emmons involved all music K-12 vocal and instrumental.  After six years, Bill was asked to apply for a new position with the Waseca band program at the middle school. This position was created by Senior High band director Herb Streitz.  So many years, 1967-1994, and so many great, eager students came into Bill’s life as he taught them wondrous notes on their instruments. 

Many weekends for fourteen years were spent playing dance jobs for weddings, proms, and special events.  Later after 1990, Bill videotaped many weddings, concerts, and special happenings.  He also enjoyed audio taping concerts in a 50-70 mile radius for the Waseca radio station.

He was a master at painting, staining, building decks, porches and picnic tables. He also did framing in basement rooms on his homes.  Bill was seldom idle.  Bill read and applied knowledge of computers before he retired in 1994.  He understood technology and made good use of it. 

Bill is survived by his wife of 57 years, MaryJo of Waseca; five children, Bill (Kris) Brooks III of Stewart, Lynda Brooks (Wallis) of Burnsville, Robert (Tracy) Brooks of St. Clair, Barry Brooks of Lakeville, and Ben (Audra) Brooks of Athens, WI; nine grandchildren, Drew Brooks, Jamie Brooks, Lexy Belter, Jameson Brooks, Brittany Brooks, Kaitlyn Brooks, Carter Brooks, Morgan Brooks, and Addie Brooks; sister-in-law, Mary Brooks of Salt Lake City, UT.  He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law, Dr. Rolla (Clara) Hook; brother, Clifford Brooks; brother-in-law, James Hook; step-brother-in-law, Don Bloom.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 PM on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at Faith United Methodist Church in Waseca, with Rev. Victor Waters officiating.  Visitation will be held from 1:00 PM until the time of the service at the church on Thursday.  Interment will follow on Friday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.


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