Richard Lovell BrooksJune 5, 1937 ~ July 29, 2017 (age 80)
Col. Richard Lovell Brooks, USAF Ret. died peacefully in his home on July 29, 2017. He was born on June 5, 1937to Lovell and Ruth Brooks in Geneva, Al. A 1955 graduate of Geneva High School, Col. Brooks attended the University of Alabama where he graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. At Alabama, he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity, and received his Air Force commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program.
He began his Air Force career with pilot training at Bainbridge AFB, GA and Craig AFB in Selma, AL. While in Selma, he met the love of his life, Marion Barr. They were married Dec. 3, 1960 and began their Air Force life together at Pease AFB, NH, where Richard was an Aircraft Commander in the B-47, the first all-jet strategic bomber.
Col. Brooks served numerous tours throughout his career, including Barksdale AFB, LA as a KC-135 and EC-135 Aircraft Commander; Directorate of Information at Strategic Air Command Headquarters, Offut AFB, NE; Executive Officer to the 13th Air Force Commander at Clark AFB, Republic of the Philippines; and Assistant Deputy Commander for Maintenance at Hurlburt AFB, FL. At Randolph AFB, San Antonio, TX, he served as 12th Flying Training Deputy Commander for Resource Management.
Col. Brooks was a command pilot with more than 4400 hours of flying time, 400 of which were combat hours flying KC-135s and T-39s in Southeast Asia. His decorations include the Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross for Gallantry, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He was a member of the Order of Daedalians.
He deeply loved his family, his country, his golfing buddies, and Alabama football. Richard was a devoted husband and father and a dedicated leader who encouraged the best from those around him. He loved to laugh and was hilarious story-teller. He was tenacious in pursuing his life goals, and had a generous heart, giving selflessly to those in need.
Richard is survived by his wife, Marion; his daughter Karen Brooks Kay and husband, Ron, of Crestview, FL; his son, Richard Brooks, Jr. and Victoria Ringo of Annapolis, MD; grandchildren, Benjamin and Tommy Kay, and Adam and Bridget Brooks; sister, Patricia Howell; and sister-in-law, Brenda Barr Kerwin and husband, Rick.
A visitation will be held 6-8 PM on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017 at McLaughlin Mortuary. Friends are invited to join the family for a graveside memorial service at 10 AM on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, FL, followed by a reception to gather and share memories. The family requests that memorial gifts be made to the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org) or a favorite charity.
Expressions of love and sympathy may be placed and viewed online at www.mclaughlinmortuary.com.