Robert Joseph Brooks (Bob, Bobby Jo, Brooks, Dad, Papaw) died at the age of 75, on October 4, 2021, in Austin, Texas.
Bob Brooks was born on October 19, 1945, in Hannibal, Missouri, to William and Audra Brooks. The youngest of four children, he was the beloved baby. Like Mark Twain and many other Hannibal dreamers, Bobby Jo spent his childhood adventuring along the Mighty Mississippi shooting BB guns, playing with friends and his older brother, Larry.
Sadly, Bobby Jo's childhood abruptly ended with the loss of his mother when he was only 15. Bob was drafted into the United States Army in 1965 and proudly served in the Vietnam War. He returned home in 1967 when his father passed away. His teenage years and young adulthood were a time of great loss, but also of extreme resilience.
Bob attended Western Illinois University where he earned his bachelor's degree in business, before going on to earn a Master's Degree in business administration from Lindenwood College. He worked with Conagra Foods for fifteen years as a cost accountant. Bob's life was wonderfully altered on December 5, 1980, when he met the light of his life, Katie Wissehr, on a blind date. He proposed the following July (the Fourth of July to be exact) and they were married on October 24, 1981. Brooks, as Katie called him, was the most kind and gentle man who always lent a helping hand. They had three amazing children who were his whole world!
Dad enjoyed projects like woodworking, gardening, and other more exciting things -- like managing the taxes. He loved all holidays and filled each with special traditions; Christmas was the best! Later in life, Dad was a devoted 12th Man and loved Harry Potter like his children. Throughout his life, Dad was a teacher who instilled his lifelong love of learning in all three of his children.. Most importantly, his life's greatest joy was his family. He loved being a dad, husband, brother, uncle, and friend, but he loved being a Papaw most of all!
Bob Brooks will forever be loved and remembered by his wife, Katie Brooks (Dripping Springs, TX); his eldest daughter, Amy Rodriguez, her husband, Ryan, and his beloved grandchildren, Christopher and Addison (Austin, TX); his daughter Ashley Carswell, her husband, Douglas, and his beloved grandchildren, Aila and Coulter (Boerne, TX); his son, Joshua, his wife, Jessi, and Papaw's beloved future grandchild(ren)(Atlanta, GA). He is also loved and remembered by his brother, Larry Brooks and his wife, Carmella (Omaha, NE); his sister-in-law, Marilyn Brooks (Atlanta, GA); brother-in-law Tom Wissehr and his wife, Jeanne (Belleville, IL); brother-in-law Jim Wissehr and his wife, Stephanie (Saint Louis, MO); Christine Morris and her husband, Shawn (Saint Louis, MO); and many othermuch-loved nieces and nephews.
Bob was preceded in death by his daughter Sarah Brooks (1985); his brother-in-law, Jim Hoover (2015), his brother Bill Brooks (2016); and his sister, Joann Hoover (2017).
A celebration of Bob Brooks' life will be held on November 5, 2021, at 2 p.m. at Saint Martin de Porres Catholic Church (26160 Ranch Road 12, Dripping Springs, TX, 78620). Reverend Justin Nguyen will be officiating.
Bob will be laid to rest in Belleville, Illinois, at a family ceremony in October of 2022. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Bob's honor be sent to one of the following organizations:
Honor Flight Austin, an organization that creates bonds among Austin-area veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C. to be recognized for their service to our country. Donations can be made here.
Lewy Body Dementia Association, an organization whose mission is to support those affected by Lewy body dementias through outreach, education, and research. Donations can be made here.
Bob would be beyond touched by the outpouring of support for his family! We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
- Katie, Amy, Ashley, and Joshua