John Brookes

Celebration of Life

1:00 pm
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Kelseyville Presbyterian Church
5340 Third Street
Kelseyville, California, United States

Obituary of John A. Brookes

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John Brookes John Brookes came into this world on December 14, 1930. The son of Arthur and Barbara Hoare he was always described as a sweet, curious and “impish” child who loved to get into things before his mother had the chance to tell him not to. His mother reported often that she would admonish him to stay out of the sewing box or other potential hazard only to have him grin up at her and say “Already did!” Those who knew John know that he never truly lost that curiosity or impishness or his innate sweetness. Johm channeled his curiosity into a PhD in Biology from USC, the impishness was used to woo his wife of nearly 69 years. While students at Occidental College, Betty Barnes would meet up with John and another young man before heading into their first class of the day. Even though this young man and Betty were already dating, John boldly asked her out in front of him. Less than a year later, Betty Barnes became Betty Brookes. The sweetness was there in his ready laugh, his eagerness to share a story and a compliment and the “I Love You”s he freely shared with family and friends. Together John and Betty raised three children, Steven, Donald and Barbara, first in San Diego County where John achieved full professorship at San Diego State. Ultimately the family moved to Lake County where he worked in vineyard development and management and while still keeping his toe in academia by teaching at community colleges and serving on the Mendocino Community College board. The one constant vocation in John’s life was the US Navy. He was a Sea Scout in his teens, then served in the Korean war in his early 20s. Afterwards he remained in the Navy Reserve until he retired with the rank of Captain in 1990 when he was 60 years old. John was extremely proud of both his Naval service and his Doctorate as well as the part he played in the early days of Konocti Winery and vineyard development in both Lake and Napa counties. He enjoyed travel and did so as often as possible; taking trips with Betty to Alaska, England, New Zealand and more. While he and Betty were raising their kids they spent time making happy memories; sailing, camping, backpacking and snow skiing together. John was predeceased by his father, Arthur; mother, Barbara; and brother, Haydn. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Elizabeth (Betty); children, Steven Brookes (Lynn), Don Brookes (Diane), and Barbara O’Rourke (Tom); grandchildren, Jason Brookes (Andrea), Sarah Houchens (Kyle) Johnny Brookes, Erin O’Rourke, Kathleen O’Rourke, Rebecca Brookes, Ronan O’Rourke, and Blair Smith (Jonathan); great grandsons, Malakye, Kallias, Taylor and Koa. In addition, he will be greatly missed by his dear friend and care provider, Carmen Gallegos, and while not biologically his brothers, his friendships with Harry Lyons and Bill Pease made them a part of his family as well. A Celebration of Life for John will be held at Kelseyville Presbyterian Church on Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 1:00 PM.
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