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Jerrel Brooks

Jerrel J. Brooks, 75, of Fountain City, passed away peacefully on Thursday morning, November 15, in his home.
   He was born September 2, 1937 in Economy to Albert J. and Evon Powell Brooks. He earned a Bachelors and Masters Degree from Ball State University.
   Jerrel truly believed “A CHILD IS MORE THAN A TEST SCORE”. An educator for 45 years in the Richmond Community Schools, Jerrel taught English, Social Studies, Government, Civics and Japanese. He was a host for many Japanese teachers through the Earlham College teacher exchange. Jerrel helped develop an exchange student program with Morioka Dai-Ichi High School in Japan. He led 10 trips with many of his high school students to Japan.
   Jerrel went on teaching even after he retired. He led many tours for elementary school students at the Levi Coffin House and the Richmond Art Museum. His love for teaching truly was incorporated into everything he did and everyone he touched.
   Jerrel had many interests including a love for auto racing, reading, coaching, gardening, Civil War reenactments, photography, travel, bicycling and nature. Jerrel co-authored a book, titled: “A Sesquicentennial History of Fountain City, Indiana”.  
   Jerrel will be missed by his wife of 51 years, Carolyn Sue Burris Brooks, whom he married on June 17, 1961; daughter & son-in-law, Kelly Evon & Eric Sittloh, of Fort Mill, South Carolina; son & daughter-in-law, John Charles & Sharon Brooks, of Indianapolis; grandsons, Deric, Keir and Quinn Sittloh; granddaughters, Brooke Sittloh Marcotte, Merideth and Mallory Brooks; great-grandchildren, Stella and Brooks Sittloh, and Sutton Marcotte; sister & brother-in-law, Patricia & David Baumer; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
   Jerrel was preceded in death by his parents and step-mother, Jessie (Pat) Brooks.
   Pastor David Anderson will conduct a funeral ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 20, at the Smith & McQuiston Funeral Home, 321 US 27 South, Fountain City. Interment will follow in Willow Grove Cemetery.
   Family & friends may gather for visitation from 4-8 p.m. Monday, November 19, at the funeral home.
   Memorial contributions may be made to Communities in Schools, PO Box 1784, Richmond, IN 47374; Cardinal Greenways, 700 East Wysor Street, Muncie, IN 47305; or The Levi Coffin House Association, PO Box 77, Fountain City, IN 47341. Cards for these are available at the funeral home.
   Online condolences may be expressed at www.smithmcquistonwebster.com .  

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I've known Jerrel for many years as he was my High School Japanese teacher. Our group was the first from Richmond High School to make the first trip to Japan. He was a teacher that was very down to earth and motivated to teach. He was a mentor to me and was my reason for getting into teaching. I had many conversations with him after he retired and remember his frustration with the education system, yet he always perceived. It's good educators like him that keep the system going when everyone else just looked at numbers.

God bless you and your family Sue. Jerrel is a great man.

Michael Miller Nov 21 2012 12:00 AM

I had the privilege and honor of having Mr. Brooks as my Japanese teacher at Richmond High School (1990-1994).  Truly a remarkable man who changed my life in so many ways.  You will be sadly missed.  To Sue and the Brooks family, my thoughts and prayers are with you.  


Mike Cruze    

Mike Cruze Nov 20 2012 12:00 AM

I am shocked to learn of Jerrels passing.  I always remember his "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" at Kita Hotel in Morioka in 1985.  I always respect him. My sympathies are with Sue and family.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara Nov 20 2012 12:00 AM

Susie, I'm so sorry for your loss.  You are much in my thoughts these days.  May God bless and keep you.


Imogene Brown Nov 20 2012 12:00 AM

Dear Brooks Family,

I was so sad to hear of the loss of Mr. Jerrel Brooks, known to me as Mr. Brooks, my government teacher in Dennis Jr. High 1977-79.  He made class enjoyable, always had a smile on his face and made students want to learn. He called me "melodia" his nickname for me and even signed my yearbook to "melodia". We need more teachers like Mr. Brooks, who take the time to reach out to students and care. He will be missed by all who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. To Mr. Brooks, "May you soar in Heaven, the angel you are" Your Melodia"

Melody Wilcox Nov 19 2012 12:00 AM

Susie & Family,      Mom and I wanted to express our sympathy and condolences to you.  We understand what you are going through because Phil died last Jan.  Jerrel was a wonderful man, funny and warm.  He was a wonderful teacher that I was proud to work with when I subbed & taught at RHS.  Keep your memories of him alive.

Joyce & Vickie Kidd Nov 19 2012 12:00 AM

Sue, Kelly, John, and everyone,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I wanted to come down tonight to see and hug all of you, but Joshua has a chemistry test tomorrow that I could not ignore. I have such fond memories of Jerrel from all the times I spent at your house. He was always welcoming and willing to give a history lesson on the spot! I enjoyed talking with him. I will be in the Fountain City area this weekend. I would love to come see you if you are around.
My heartfelt sympathies, my prayers for peace, and my love for some very special people,

Debbi Collins Nov 19 2012 12:00 AM

Susie, I am so very sorry for your loss.  I hope you find some comfort from all of the people surrounding you with love and memories. Jerrell was only at my house once and I never forgot him. Love and prayers going up for you and your family.
Joy Wilson Meade

Joy Wilson Meade Nov 19 2012 12:00 AM

Our deepest sympathies to his wife and family.  He was an excellent teacher who supported children in learning, and taught them to love it as well.  My daughter Stephanie had a rough time in school, but flourished in Japanese because of Mr. Brooks and his treating children as "more than just a test score".  My daughter is now 25 years old, and still speaks his praises as an educator and friend of students.  Many can and have learned from his example.  May God comfort you all in his time of passing until we meet one another again.

Amy Richmond & Stephanie Wyatt Wuertemberger Nov 18 2012 12:00 AM

My prayers and deepest sympathy for your loss. I graduated from Richmond High School in 1978. He was my civics teacher at Dennis Jr. High and I benefited from his passion for teaching. I have mentioned to my children that he was one of my favorite teachers. I am so sorry to hear of his passing but your family must be proud of all his accomplishments and the many lives that he touched.  God's Peace to you.  Pam Kettler

Pam Drifmeyer Kettler Nov 18 2012 12:00 AM

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