Robert S. Brooks (Bob) was born on July 17, 1928 in Kansas City, Missouri. He grew up in Mission, Kansas and graduated from Shawnee Mission High School in 1946. After graduation he enlisted in The United States Marine Corps and served until July 1948. He attended Northwestern University and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in English from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. He then received his Master's Degree and Doctorate in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Kansas University.
Bob worked at a school for disabled children in Salina, Kansas, for many years while commuting and working on his college degrees. He then worked as an assistant professor at Kansas Stat University from 1965-1969 before moving to Minnesota where he was a full professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato from 1969-1993, where he retired at the age of 65. After retirement he and his wife Priscilla moved to Madeira Beach, Florida. They lived in Madeira Beach until July 2011 when Priscilla passed away. After her death, Bob moved back to Mankato and then to St. Peter until his death.
As a boy he was very close to his brother and everywhere they went they were usually accompanied by their dog Rip. In high school Bob was an outstanding student and a stellar athlete competing in football and track. In the military he served on Guam and Pelilu and was in the Military Honor Guard for the White House during the term of President Eisenhower. He was chairman of his department while at Mankato State and was instrumental in elevating the department and gaining national accreditation for the speech program. He developed the highly regarded on-campus Speech and Hearing Clinic. He also served a term as interim Dean.
Bob was active in the Mankato Sertoma Club serving as president and was a lifelong member. He was active in church and served as a deacon for several years at the First Presbyterian Church of Mankato. He was also an active contributing alum to Ottawa University and to his beloved Kansas University. He was a true Kansas Jayhawk. He also was a board member and president of the Madeira Beach Yacht Club.
Bob was a quiet, humble man who exercised great leadership skills. He was diligent and passionate as a professor and dedicated himself to the students he taught. He loved challenges, football, auto racing, technology, computers, photography and big band music. He was a kind, wise father who led by example. He was a devoted husband who loved his soulmate, Priscilla, with all his heart. He lived for the day when he could be reunited with her. Bob was a model person in every way; kind, giving, supportive, understanding, caring and forgiving. We will miss our grandfather, father, mentor, teacher and friend.
Bob was preceded in death by his late wife Priscilla Jane (Walker) Brooks, his father, Myron DeWitt Brooks, his mother Nell Janet (Scott) Brooks, his uncle Lloyd Scott and a niece Lisa Brooks. He is survived by his older brother Bud Brooks of Seattle and a nephew, Tom Brooks also of Seattle, three children; Alice A. Musburger (James) Litchfield, MN, a son Mark A. Brooks (Linda Brown) of Mankato and a son, John S. Brooks (Judi) of North Mankato, MN. There are also seven grandchildren; Ben J. Musburger, Sarah A, (Musburger) Garcia, Zachary R Brooks, Karen A. (Michael) Gorman, Jeffery S. Brooks, Alex P. Brooks, Jonathan R. Brooks and three great-grandchildren which are Penelopy Gorman, Sawyer Gorman and Jimmi Aline Garcia. (Information from the memorial brochure at the funeral)
Bob always taught the stuttering courses and supervised therapy in our department clinic for people who stuttered. As he was looking forward to retirement, he assigned me to teach the undergraduate stuttering course about the same time Internet access was becoming easily available on campus. I've always (still am) somewhat of a technophobe, but one morning, I heard Bob laughing in his office next to mine and asked him what was so funny. His response, "I just figured out how to open my email and I have 39 messages, some from several months ago!" That was the day I walked over to the computer center and got an email account. A few weeks later I had an annual meeting with my college Dean. Waiting my turn in the reception area, I heard him comment to the person ahead of me, "I can't believe I can access things all around the world with Gopher on my computer." With the help of Mark Thomas, a tech guru on campus, I developed a "gopher site" which soon morphed into The Stuttering Home Page. Two events were coming together to draw me into my combined interests of the Internet and stuttering. The rest of the story is a career that has introduced me to a warm and wonderful community of professionals and consumers with expertise in stuttering that supported and drew me in as I developed undergraduate and graduate courses in stuttering and developed The Stuttering Home Page at the university. It also created a professional niche I never expected and has taken me to nearly every state and many foreign countries and become the driving force in my professional development. I am forever grateful to Bob Brooks for the support, as well as patience in continuously upgrading my computers and leaving my old computer next to the new one until I was brave enough to turn it on (and to two grad students who eventually helped me learn how to turn them on).