William Kenneth Brooks
Born: August 13, 1912 at Wewoka, Oklahoma
Married Rozellah Pearl
Petty January 6, 1934 at Davis, Oklahoma
Died: December 29, 1996 at IHS Nursing Home, Orange Park, Florida
at Brevard Memorial Park, Sharpes, Florida
Parents: William Henry Brooks and Mary Evaline Haning
notes: Called "Peanut" as a child, he was usually called "Kenneth" by friends and "W. K." in business. His formal education
extended only through the third grade at Red Mound Schoolhouse, near Sylvan, Oklahoma. The story is that older brothers Ray
and Orvell talked little brother Peanut into staying at home to help work the farm so they could be free to continue their
education. Kenneth was largely self-educated. He learned to read by reading the paperback books that a family member had not
been able to sell in his store. The practice was (and still is, I believe) for the retailer to tear off the front and back
cover of an unsold book. Thus, anyone who is offered a coverless book for sale knows that the book has been reported as unsold
and the author and publisher are not getting their share of the profits. Using the basic education he had received in three
years, he read the books, figuring out what the words were by their association with words he knew how to read. Kenneth was
in the Conservation Corps and was working on a project in the Arbuckle Mountains when he met his wife, Rozellah Petty of Davis.
Rated 4F by the draft board because of poor eyesight, he did not serve in World War II. During the depression years, he worked
at whatever job he could get, often leaving Rozellah and the children with her parents and traveling alone as far as California
to find work. He became a skilled carpenter and sometimes worked as a building contractor. In 1957, he became an insurance
salesman, first doing debit work for Lincoln National, then working for several other companies. From 1957 until he retired,
he switched from carpentry to insurance work several times and also did some commercial fishing in Florida. He was a Baptist
deacon, ordained at Meadowbrook Missionary Baptist Church, San Antonio, Texas on April 2, 1954. He served as deacon at several
Missionary and Southern Baptist churches in Texas, Oklahoma, California, Louisiana, and Florida.
|CC CAMP COOKS
|KENNETH IS IN THE MIDDLE, NAMES OF THE OTHERS ARE UNKNOWN
CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS
><(((*> ><(((*> ><(((*>
Excerpts from Kenneth Brooks's handwritten notes, probably written in preparation for leading a Wednesday evening church
WHAT I THINK OF TODAY'S CHURCH AND ITS LEADERS
I think we have allowed ourselves to become cold fish.
We say, and I mean minister as much if not more than layman, we are concerned about the lost. We say we have compassion for
the bereaved, that we are concerned about our brother in need, yet if the opportunity presents itself we say let the welfare
help or that is the concern of the benevolence committee. We have no feeling in the pulpit or the pew for the needy or for
that matter no concern for anything but our own selfish selves.
I think it is high time for a revival. First in the
pulpit. Most people say we want revival but subsequently say I am all right. Most of us do not think we are guilty. This is
why I say we have built a shell around our churches and ourselves. In most cases the pastor could change much of this with
some good old heartfelt religion. Oh, I know it is easier to put on a proud and pious look and keep that shell closed where
nothing can dent it.
I have borrowed money to help a needy person. Have you ever helped someone just because you wanted
to? If not you missed a blessing. Oh, yes, I have been helped, too, and I found it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Toward the end of my father's life, the only
income he had was his social security check. Even so, he would lend money to friends and neighbors. Other less
generous-hearted family members, myself included, were quite irritated with him for lending money he needed himself.
For a long time we grumbled to each other but said nothing to Daddy, knowing he was not only generous but also stubborn.
We had no hope of changing his ways. One day, however, I felt that I absolutely had to say something to Daddy about
his habit of "throwing away" money, because of course it was never repaid. His reply put me firmly in my place.
He quoted the words of Jesus in the book of Matthew:
Give to him that asketh thee, and him that would borrow of thee turn
not thou away.
"I believe I will be judged in heaven for what I have done on earth,"
In loving memory of my generous father, I present
here a link to a site where his kind of generosity is practiced.