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Walter E. Brooks, 84; Civic Leader

Owned Brooks Machine Products

Walter E. Brooks

UNADILLA – Walter E. Brooks, 84, a civic leader and owner of Brooks Machine Products, a custom-machined parts company here, passed away peacefully on April 17, 2018.  His wife Edna, son Brad and Pastor (ret.) Kip Stratton were by his side.

Walt was born on Oct. 25, 1933, in Afton, son of (pre-deceased) Fay and Ruth (Decker) Brooks.

He served in the Air Force in 1952-56, during the Korean War, then joined GE, working in Shelbyville, Ind., and Cincinnati, Ohio.

After the passing of his father, Walter moved his young family in 1970 to manage Brooks Machine Products LTD in Unadilla. During his ownership, he employed many machinists young and old, and was known by his employees as caring, giving and fair, with a high standard of integrity, employer.

A member of the Unadilla United Methodist Church, he sang in the choir, chaired the church trustees and was a lay member at Wyoming Conference. He was past president of the Unadilla Rotary Club and was instrumental in the Exchange Student Program and also in the Business Exchange.

Walt also served multiple terms as president of the Unadilla Chamber of Commerce, where he was involved in such fundraisers such as chicken barbecues, fruit sales and the mobile events sign. Walt was also very involved in several business and industrial organizations throughout the area such as the BOCES program and growing industrial park in Oneonta.

He helped establish the Troop 1 Boy Scout Museum and to organize the 100-year celebration in Unadilla in 2010. Walter was also responsible for the purchase of the first Christmas light decorations along Main Street and helped install, remove and store them for more than 30 years. He was also a board member of the Evergreen Hill Cemetery for over 30 years.

Walter’s other passion was for antique and classic cars and was a member of the Algonquin Auto Club and enjoyed the car shows and judging and being with his friends and fellow enthusiasts. His treasured White 1964 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport Convertible was his pride and joy and was seen by many over the past 40 years in parades.

He is survived by his wife, Edna Brooks of Unadilla; sister Marjorie and brother-in-law Carl Terpening of Bloomingham, Ind.; daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and John Allden of College Station, Texas; daughter, Susan Joplin of Houston, Texas, and and two grandchildren, Brooke Nowalk of Auburn, Ala., and Ty Joplin, currently living in Amman, Jordan;  son Bradford Brooks of Unadilla and grandson Mark Brooks also of Unadilla; step-son Jan Mitrzyk of  Northford Conn., and step-son Chris Mitrzyk and Heather Thomas of Northford, Conn.; step-daughter and son-in-law Felicia and Tim Vitale and three grandsons, Justin, Kyle and Chase of Allendale, NJ.

A celebration of Walter’s life will be at noon Saturday, April 28, at the Unadilla United Methodist Church.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the church, 73 Main St., Unadilla, NY 13849, or Oxford Veterans Home 4207 State Hwy. 220 Oxford, NY 13830 and for everyone to volunteer in their community.

The family would like to thank care givers in the Pine Unit at Veterans Home in Oxford for their patience and compassionate care.

Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements by the Westcott-Madden Funeral Home 123 Main St., Unadilla.


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