Michael Edward Brooks

RINGLING — Funeral services honoring the "life well lived" by Michael Edward Brooks will be held at the Ringling United Methodist Church at 10 a.m on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Services are under the direction of Alexander Gray Funeral Home in Ringling with Reverend John Marks officiating, followed by interment at the Ringling Memorial Cemetery. Mike entered heaven on Jan. 3, 2020, one day after his 73rd birthday.

Mike was born to Archie and Virginia Brooks in Wynnewood, on Jan. 2, 1947, on one of the coldest days ever recorded in Oklahoma history. He was raised on a small farm working alongside his dad, uncles and cousins in the Brady community. He graduated from Wynnewood High School in 1965. He graduated from East Central University in 1969 with a degree in biology and physics. During his time at ECU he served on the Student Senate, where he met the freshman representative, Dona Howard. They were married in August, 1970, and would be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this summer.

Brooks served in the Army National Guard from the fall of 1969 to 1975 rising to the rank of Sergeant First Class. His Ada unit was called to active duty during the McAlester prison riots in July, 1973.

After their marriage, Mike and Dona moved to the Claypool community, between Ringling and Waurika to live and work with Dona's family on the Howard Ranch. Mike worked with father-in-law, Don Howard, and brothers-in-law, Jim and Steve for 35 years on the ranch.  After a bout with cancer, Mike changed careers and went to work for his daughter at Southward Family Medicine in Ardmore in 2003 where he served as office manager and baby sitter.

Mike contributed to the construction of several buildings: Ringling Fire Station, Claypool Fire Station, Claypool Community Center, Ringling United Methodist Church, Ringling Methodist parsonage, numerous barns and family homes were wired, plumbed and reconstructed by Mike.

Mike felt called to serve others and did so in various capacities including medical mission trips to Bolivia in 1990, and to Mexico with his daughter in 2001.  He served as Oklahoma Cattleman's Association (OCA) Board of Directors from 1976-78, OCA President from 1994-1995, National Beef Board Council 2002-2006, Noble Foundation non-resident Fellow from 2003-2005, Cross Timbers Hospice Board from 2005-2012. He served every Board position on the Ringling Methodist Church through the 45 years as member of RUMC and was teaching adult Sunday school at the time of his death. Mike was a member of the Cornish Lodge of the Free Masons.

Mike "retired" from paying jobs in 2012 to become a handyman for anyone who needed him. And his services were always in demand. During his lifetime he rebuilt numerous cars, spent 6 years building a 4 passenger Hummingbird Helicopter, was a licensed pilot, danced with The Two Left Feet group of friends, worked in the Ringling Food Bank, built cabinets, rebuilt computers, mowed his friends and neighbors grass, made his famous mashed potatoes and peanut brittle and gave his friendship, time and money to many people in need. Mike's Christian values of love for family, sacrifice of self, dependability and service were evident to all who knew him.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Cindy Florio.

Mike is survived by his wife, Dona, of the home, children, Dr. Lauren Southward and husband Kent, Ringling; son Judge Carson Brooks and wife Kelli, Ardmore; seven grandchildren: Sydney, Sarah, Mikenli and Olivia Southward and Peyton Kathryn, Luke and William Brooks.

Carson Brooks, Luke Brooks, Kent Southward, Jim Howard, Steve Howard, Bill Moore, Craig Gerken, Russell Barber and Harold Handrich will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are Mike Moore, Biff Jackson, Joe Harris, Lindsay Southward, Don Pogue and Scott Skaggs.

Visitation will be held Sunday evening from 2-4 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of Ringling.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Mike's name to the Ringling United Methodist Church (PO Box 247, Ringling, OK 73456) or Cross Timbers Hospice (207 C Street, Ardmore, OK 73401).

Online condolences may be made to www.alexanderfuneralhome.org. at the end of the obituary

Posted online on June 22, 2020