ROBBINSTON AND BANGOR - 1st Lt. John Kenneth Brooks, 99, passed away peacefully, with his family by his side, at the Veteran's Home in Bangor on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. Mr. Brooks was born in Eastport to Lester and Lucille (Bassett) Brooks on May 6, 1916.
He met Charlotte Bates of Calais in Robbinston and they were married on October 18, 1941. They were together for 60 years.
Mr. Brooks is survived by his daughter, Andrea Moore of Robbinston; his son Kenneth and his wife Jane (Webster) of Athens; grandchildren, Steven Moore, Heather and her husband Joe Banks, and Shawn Moore and her companion Mike Parish, all of Fredericton, New Brunswick; great-grandchildren, Jesse, Triston and Braydon Moore, Kristen and Nicholas Banks; two great-great granddaughters and several nieces and nephews.
He attended Robbinston Grade School for his first three years and then attended school in Eastport until his graduation. While there he played basketball, baseball and acted in the Senior Play. While still in high school, he was recruited to pitch for the Chicago White Sox. His first job was mowing grave sites in the Eastport Cemetery. He helped to repair the Old Eastport Bridge, then worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps doing carpentry and wiring work; surveying for the Quoddy Tidal Power Project; the Robbinston/Perry Town Line; the Rumford and Androscoggin Rivers and site preparation for the Franklin Falls Dam. Mr. Brooks was a woodsman, a farmer, a carpenter, a surveyor, a cave driller, a "dynamite monkey," a registered Maine Guide, a fisherman, a hunter and a cartographer. He built three homes for his family and a cabin on Boyden's Lake; he operated an Esso gas station, and was employed by Eastern Maine Electric Coop, Western Auto and Chet's Transport. He joined the Army in 1939, and became a signalman for the 240th Coast Guard Artillery where he taught Morse code. He then attended officer's training school in North Carolina and served a total of five years in the 30th Infantry Division in Europe, engaging in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. He served his community in many ways as a school board member for six years, a Lions Club president, a selectman, a trustee of the Robbinston Congregational Church, served on the Board of Directors for the Eastport Hospital; he advocated for the building of three boat landings on the lakes in town, was a volunteer fireman for 35 years, a Boy Scout and 4-H Club leader, a member of the Recreation Committee, served on the Eastern Maine Electric Coop Board of Directors, the Washington County Soil Conservation District and served as the Town Road Commissioner for nine years, retiring when he was 83. For many years, he wrote a weekly column for the Calais Advertiser called "Our Scene." With encouragement from the editor, he decided to publish a compilation of those short stories into a book, which is now enjoyed in the U.S., Canada and Russia.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his beloved wife Charlotte, an infant child, his brother Hollis, his wives, Helen, Lila and Barbara; his sister, Leola and her husband Lloyd, brothers-in-law, Dr. James C. Bates and his wife Mary and Arlo T. Bates and his wife Helen.
A celebration of Mr. Brooks life will be held at the Brewer Cemetery in Robbinston, 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 2, 2015. Following the service, all are invited to the Robbinston Historical Society for a gathering. Arrangements by Mays Funeral Home, Calais & Eastport. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.maysfuneralhome.com