Thomas Barry Brooks, 87, widower of Shirley Mims Brooks, died Sunday, March 10, 2013, at Self Regional Healthcare.
Born Sept. 12, 1925, at Roselands Plantation in the Cambridge section of Ninety Six, he was a son of the late Edward Loudon and Myrtle Fellers Brooks. When he was three years old, his family moved to their home on Marshall Road in Greenwood. He attended public schools but volunteered at age 17 to fight in World War II.
He joined the U.S. Marine Corps and spent his 18th birthday in basic training at Parris Island. He was shipped out to the South Pacific and participated in the invasions of Saipan and Tinian. In February 1945, as a sergeant in the 5th Amphibious Corps, he fought on Iwo Jima.
At age 21 he was honorably discharged from the Marines and returned to Greenwood High School. He finished work on his diploma and then spent a year at The Citadel.
He was working in St. George, SC, for E.H. Hines Construction Co. when he met Shirley Mims. They were married on May 13, 1950, and lived together happily for more than 51 years until she passed away on Aug. 8, 2001.
The couple moved to Greenwood, where Mr. Brooks went into business as a service station owner and operator at 517 South Main Street. After more than 25 years, he moved his business across the street to 514 South Main. By then, in addition to selling gasoline and servicing cars, he also operated a wrecker service and muffler shop.
During his career, Mr. Brooks was active in civic duties. He was chairman of the city’s zoning commission, a member and former commander of American Legion Post 20, a Master Mason of Greenwood Lodge No. 91, and president of Woodfields Elementary School’s PTA.
After his retirement in 1990, he became active in golf, volunteer work at the hospital, preservation of Save All Cemetery on New Market Street, and the Marine League.
In Oct. 2006 he moved into Sterling House, where he enjoyed the company of other residents as well as that of employees and management.
He was a lifetime member of The Church of the Resurrection - Episcopal.
Survivors include three children, Leslie B. McDonnell and husband Chuck of Greenwood; Police Chief Gerald Brooks and wife Donna of Greenwood; and Laura B. Shealy of Indian Land; three brothers, Carroll Brooks, Loudon “Rooster” Brooks, and Emmett “Buster” Brooks, all of Greenwood; a sister, Mary Jane B. Mobley of Greenwood; six grandchildren, Preston Shealy, Whitfield Brooks, Laura Beth Brooks, Thomas McDonnell, Mims Shealy, and Catherine Brooks; two great-granddaughters, and a loyal friend, James Blair.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Myrtle Brooks Fisher.
Services will be Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of the Resurrection - Episcopal, conducted by the Rev. Nicholas Beasley. Burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery, Ninety Six.
Pallbearers will be members of the Marine League. Honorary pallbearers will be other members of the Marine League and American Legion Post 20.
The family will receive friends at Harley Funeral Home on Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
The family requests that flowers be omitted and memorials be made to The Church of the Resurrection building fund, P.O. Box 3283, Greenwood, SC 29648. Harley Funeral Home and Crematory (www.harleyfuneralhome.com) is assisting the family.