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DEAR DESCENDANTS
FAMILY MEMBER KENNETH BROOKS
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THE ANSWER PAGE
WHERE THEY LIVED
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THESE RELATIVES ARE NOT ABSOLUTE
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FAMILY MEMBER KENNETH BROOKS
FAMILY MEMBER ROZELLAH PETTY BROOKS
ROZELLAH'S EDUCATION
FAMILY MEMBER WILLIAM HENRY BROOKS
FAMILY MEMBER GRANDMA FANNIE
FAMILY MEMBER GEORGE BROOKS
FAMILY MEMBER EVA HANING BROOKS
FAMILY MEMBERS FRANK AND ANNIE HANING
FAMILY MEMBER WALTER PETTY
FAMILY MEMBER VIRLIE MASON PETTY
FAMILY MEMBER ANDREW JACKSON PETTY
FAMILY MEMBER SARAH ELIZABETH HINCHEY
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1936 NEWSPAPER
MEMORABILIA
MEMORABILIA II
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OUR MUSICAL FAMILY
OUR FISHING FAMILY
CHRISTMAS
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RECIPES 1
RECIPES 2
GETTING GRANNY'S GOAT
TIDBITS
THE OIL BOOM
RESEARCHING MY FAMILY HISTORY
RESEARCHING MY FAMILY HISTORY, PAGE 2
ABOUT ME
FUTURE HEIRLOOMS

WILLIAM KENNETH BROOKS
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PHOTO BY SON-IN-LAW JAMES THOMAS

William Kenneth Brooks

1912-1996

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
Buried at Brevard Memorial Park, Sharpes, Florida
Parents: William Henry Brooks and Mary Evaline Haning

Biographical 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
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KENNETH IS IN THE MIDDLE, NAMES OF THE OTHERS ARE UNKNOWN

CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS

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Excerpts from Kenneth Brooks's handwritten notes, probably written in preparation for leading a Wednesday evening church service:

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.

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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," Daddy said.
 
In loving memory of my generous father, I present here a link to a site where his kind of generosity is practiced.

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man and boy fishing

My Daddy, Kenneth, is not the fisherman pictured here, but he might have been. He often took his sons and grandsons fishing.

In a gathering of family and friends, Daddy once said, "My girls never liked to fish." My sister replied, "How do you know? You never asked us."

Yes, Kenneth Brooks was an old-fashioned man who seemed to believe that all a little girl needed to do was look pretty and be cuddly. I do remember, however, one time when he let me reel in a fish.

The whole family, including the tiny dog named Cookie, sometimes spent the day at the lake. We took a picnic lunch and Daddy and the boys did some fishing. Once Daddy handed me his fishing rod and showed me how to reel a fish in. Then he took the hook out of the fish's mouth and showed it to me. It was a sunfish. I don't remember any particular thrill at catching a fish but I do remember the rainbowlike colors of that fish's scales.

Hmmm - maybe Daddy was at least half right. One of his girls never could get interested in fishing.