Irl Garrett Brooks dedicated his life to agriculture and family

Saturday, June 14, 2014 | 7:49 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Irl Garrett Brooks and Linda Chenoweth Brooks wrote each other every night for a little more than a year while he served in the Vietnam War.

"We would sit down every night and we would write what we had done each day and how many days were left until he got home," Linda Brooks said.

Mr. Brooks served in the 48th Military Intelligence Group at Fort Bragg as a specialist 4th class. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device, the Good Conduct Medal and the Bronze Star for his service.

Irl Garrett Brooks of Columbia died Thursday, June 12, 2014. He was 67.

Mr. Brooks was born July 29, 1946, in Callaway County, to Cecil Garrett Brooks and Evelyn (McCarty) Brooks in their home on the family farm. He was a graduate of South Callaway High School in MoKane.

He married his sweetheart, Linda, on Dec. 22, 1967 — less than two weeks after he got back from Vietnam.

Less than a month after he got back from the war, he started training to be a manager at MFA Inc., his son Ryan Brooks said. He worked there for almost 40 years and retired with the title of general manager.

"He was very dedicated to serving customers and helping them with their needs," Ryan Brooks said.

Mr. Brooks also liked to see people succeed, whether that be co-workers or family members. He would help train employees at MFA and encourage them to succeed, Ryan Brooks said.

He took much pride in his children's — and eventually grandchildren's — successes as well.

"He was probably one of the most dedicated dads that I've ever known," his son Aaron Brooks said.

In 1987, Mr. Brooks' daughter, Lori Miller, was crowned Boone County queen. Aaron Brooks said his father loved being able to drive Miller around at all the parades she was in.

"It was great to see the smile on his face, even as a younger brother who was annoyed at having to go to the parades," Aaron Brooks said.

Mr. Brooks also tried to make it to all the events his grandchildren were in whenever he could, Miller said.

Mr. Brooks is survived by his wife of 46 years, Linda Brooks; a daughter, Lori Miller, and her husband, Derek, of Columbia; two sons, Aaron Brooks, and his wife, Connie, of Columbia, and Ryan Brooks, and his wife, Julie, of Salisbury; a sister, Ronelle Neperud, and her husband, Bob, of Kansas City; a brother, Wayne Brooks, and his wife, Barbara, of Hams Prairie; and four grandchildren, Peyton, Evan, William and Sam.

His parents and one grandson, Dane Brooks, died earlier.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Future Farmers of America's Columbia chapter, C/O Chuck Miller 1104 N. Providence Rd, Columbia, MO 65203, or to Columbia Second Chance Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 10186, Columbia, MO 65205.

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