COOPERSTOWN – Esther C. Brooks, 88, former CCS cafeteria manager whose late husband was Clark Sports Center director, died early Sunday morning, Sept. 10, 2017, at Focus Rehabilitation & Nursing Center at Otsego.
Born Esther Claire Kent on Aug. 24, 1929, in Lawrence, Mass., she was a daughter of Charles Francis Kent and Clara Mary née Balfour Kent.
After graduating from high school, Esther attended Simmons College in Boston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics. She then attended Russell Sage College in Troy, earning a master’s Community Health Education.
On June 21, 1952, Esther married Malcolm Norris Brooks in the First Baptist Church of North Tewksbury, Mass.
When Mal was hired as director of the Alfred Corning Clark Gymnasium in July 1963, the Brookses moved from Cohasset, Mass., to Cooperstown. In 1971, Esther became school lunch manager for the Cooperstown Central School District, and served in that capacity until her retirement in 1980. She also was employed by LEAF as a dietician for several area nursing homes.
During their years in Cooperstown, the Brookses made their home on Pioneer Street. In later years, they moved to a home on lower Chestnut Street, and, following Mal’s death in 2006, Esther moved into the Cooper Lane Apartments and later the Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home.
A devoted and active member of the First Presbyterian Church since 1963, Esther served the church in many capacities. She especially enjoyed helping out where needed with the yearly ice cream socials. An ordained deacon in the Presbyterian Church, Esther, along with her husband, Mal, once served communion at a General Assembly held in Syracuse in the early 1990s, a memory they both held dear to their hearts.
Esther and Mal travelled together extensively, visiting many countries and states,. including Finland, England, Hawaii, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, and Alaska.
They also enjoyed square dancing, and since 1979 were members of the Doubleday Square Dancers.
Esther is survived by her three children, Charles M. (“Chuck”) Brooks and his wife, Maryellen, of East Durham, Wayne M. Brooks of Phrao, Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Mrs. Ruthanna Cherifi, and her husband, Said, of Silver Spring, Md.; seven grandchildren, Jonathan Kent Brooks, Christopher Dunham Brooks (Theresa), Charles Adam Brooks (Michelle), Jennifer Anne Brooks DeHaven, Jeremiah Wayne Brooks (Tara Loewenguth), Malika Claire Cherifi, and Rabah Said Cherifi; and five great-grandchildren, Austin David DeHaven, Anthony Wayne DeHaven, Angela Josephine Brooks, Alison Rose Brooks and Tyler Colombo. She is further survived by her three sisters, Charlotte Sargent and Jane Cobleigh (Ray) of Tewksbury, Mass., and Evelyn Kent of Venice, Fla.; their families; and many cousins.
Esther was predeceased by her husband of 54 years, Mal, who died unexpectedly May 30, 2006.
Friends may call at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, when Esther’s family will be in attendance.
A Funeral Service of Witness to the Resurrection, and Celebration of the Life will be offered at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, at the First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Elsie Armstrong Rhodes, pastor, officiating.
Immediately following the funeral service, all attending are invited to join with the Brooks’ family for a time of refreshment and fellowship in the church’s chapel.
The Service of Committal will be conducted at a later date at the Columbarium in the Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
As an alternative to flowers, Esther’s family would appreciate memorial gifts to the Malcolm N. and Esther C. Brooks Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2006 for a graduating Senior who has chosen to attend college to pursue a career in working with youth. Donations may be made payable to “Cooperstown Central School”, along with a note stating that the gift is to be directed to this particular scholarship, and mailed to the school at 39 Linden Avenue, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
In appreciation for all of the care extended to Esther by her church family, memorial donations may also be made to The First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown Deacons’ Fund, 25 Church St., Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are entrusted to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.