Barbara's Story

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BANGOR - In peace, on January 19, 2015, Barbara Wood Brookings left the family and life that she cherished, encircled by the love of four generations. She felt very fortunate to live 90 wonderful years in good health, surrounded by family and friends that she held so dearly.

Barbara was born on June 15, 1924 in Dexter, Maine, into the caring family of Harold Grinnell and Idella Lucretia (MacLeod) Wood. She treasured her two precious brothers Grinnell "Jack" and Frank. She grew up in Hallowell, Maine and later the Wood homestead moved to Bangor and is now the site of the Ronald McDonald House, a fact that gave Barbara much joy.

Barbara took great pride in her high school years at Kent's Hill and Bangor High School, graduating in 1942. After high school, she attended Husson College (Maine School of Commerce) for one year and worked at the Bangor Chamber of Commerce. In 1944, supporting the war effort, Barbara joined the United States Navy Waves.

In 1948, Barbara married John Wilmot Brookings, a man whom she endlessly cherished and admired. They were married for 58 happy years until John passed away in 2007.

Barbara had a profound passion for art. She leaves a collection of over one hundred paintings. She was one of the first students of Maine artist, Vincent Hartgen, and a lifelong student of Helen Marie Allen. However, Barbara has always believed that her real legacy is her seven children whom she so dearly loved: Linda, Judy, Jack, Bruce, Barby, Dave and Rob. She treasured each and every one of them.

After John completed dental school at Tufts University, the couple returned to Bangor to make their home. The winters found them at Ski Horse Lodge and later at Squaw Mountain, trailing down the slopes with seven children in tow. A real highlight in their family years was a six week cross-country trip of the United States in a 1966 station wagon, pulling a pop-up camper.

For the past 55 years, Barbara and her family have loved spending the summers at their camp, "The B-Hive," at Lucerne-In-Maine. Most summer evenings would find John and Barbara feeding the whole gang, beside the lake at "Babe's Beanery." The summer Sunday mornings consisted of a gigantic "campful" of family and friends enjoying the family blueberry pancake breakfast. Mom will always be remembered standing on the threshold of the camp porch, saying with a smile, "Pancakes are ready!"

Barbara was a devoted volunteer and loved her affiliations with the Quipus, PEO, the YWCA and Isaac Farrar Mansion, the Altar Guild at St. John's Episcopal Church, and the Junior League of Bangor where she always participated in the annual Children's Play Production for Bangor Area Children. She was always cast as the jester, a role that she loved. Other civic clubs included the Jaycee Women, the Bangor Art Society and Opera New England.

Friends were an important part of life for Barbara and John. Throughout their lives, they remained close to their friends from high school, the University of Maine and Tufts Dental School.

"Grandmom" was the loving grandmother of twenty-five sweet people: Mindy, Julie, Becky, Phil, Jill, Jana, Andy, Jenn, Holly, Jack, Bret, Anya, Alex, Johnny, Abby, Mike, Quinn, Dave, Tyler, Molly, Reed, Ryan, Robby, Emily, Maddie, and their wonderful spouses. She is the great-grandmother of Finn, Ella, Kaiden, Lily, Chloe, Piper, Willow, Scarlet, Maggie, Ayda and Liam.

She had a special place in her heart for all of her children's spouses: Charlie, Phil, Dick, Jeannie, Vicki, John, Kelly and Denise.

Special thanks to Barbara's wonderful caregivers Sandy, Patty, Rosey and her friends from Loving Touch.

Those wishing to honor her in a special way, may donate in her memory to Camp Capella, P.O. Box 552, Holden, ME 04429. It was important to Barbara that all children have an opportunity to experience summer camp.

A graveside service for the family will be at Pine Grove Cemetery, Bangor.

Barbara's family would love for friends and loved ones to join them in celebration of her life at the Lucerne Inn, Dedham, ME, on Saturday, January 31st, 2015, from 1 to 4 pm.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.
Published on  January 21, 2015
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