Submitted by his wife
The late Thomas Earl Brooks died on January 31‚ 2002‚ at the age of 48. He was known to family and friends as ‘Flip’ and to co-workers as ‘Pappa Smurf‚’ and was born in Robeson County on October 9‚ 1953‚ the son of the late Thomas and Minnie Locklear Brooks.
He is survived by his wife‚ Debra Lowery Brooks‚ sons Thomas Darwin Brooks and Ethan Taran Brooks‚ of the home‚ a brother Edward ‘Elbert’ Locklear and a sister Sarah Jane Locklear‚ both of Lumberton‚ NC.
He will always be considered as a ‘Hero at Heart’ by family members and friends. He was known first as a dedicated husband‚ a father to his children and a sincere family man. Not a day passed that he didn’t tell me ‘I Love You’ and said it often to the two boys‚ which some thought was unusual for a man to say‚ especially to boys. He was a man who liked to talk‚ tell jokes and laugh. He talked to his children about his difficult childhood and how he was raised by his mother and brother and later lived with his sister until adulthood. There was only one thing in his life that he regretted and that was ‘He didn’t further his education‚ once he completed high school.’ He often talked to his children about the merits of a good education and his motto was‚ ‘No matter what you do in life‚ get a good education.’
He was employed for 19 years as a Master Firefighter with the City of Lumberton and also worked part-time for four years with the American Medical Response of North Carolina. He was also a member of the Robeson County Fireman’s Association‚ the North Carolina Fireman’s Association‚ State Certified Fireman‚ EMT-Defibrillator‚ Hazardous Material Level One Responder‚ State Fire Instructor‚ graduated from Magnolia High School and attended Mt. Airy Baptist Church.
He was a man who loved the outdoors. He looked forward to going out on his boat to fish and in the woods to hunt. He mostly enjoyed bass fishing and dove and deer hunting. He also loved gardening. He took pride in his dayliliies and vegetable garden. He gathered his turnips and collards around the holiday seasons and shared them with the senior citizens of the community. His daylilies were his pride and joy and shared them with others so they could enjoy the beautiful foliage. He took pride in growing and harvesting fruit from trees such as pear‚ peach and apple and bush such as blueberry and grapes from the vine. He was a man who shared the fruits of his labor.