We want to give you an update because so many have asked. My dear mother is home and gazing into the eyes of her beloved, Jesus. She went to her heavenly home last Friday. We want to share her obituary with you:
"Her children rise up and call her blessed." – Proverbs 31:28
Julie (Juliette) Ardis Brooks
How does one begin to write in a few paragraphs about our mom, Julie Brooks, the first lady of the Clair Brooks family? Her life and legacy will live on forever in the lives of her children, their mates, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, friends and extended family.
On November 16, 1915, an 8 pound bouncing baby girl with big blue eyes and little fat cheeks was born to Johanna and Anton Wolden in Vermillion, South Dakota. They proudly named her Juliette Ardis. Julie attended eight grades of school before the Depression hit. Her dream was to be a school teacher but due to the Depression, she always felt a bit cheated that she couldn't continue her education to become a school teacher. We, the family, always reminded her that she did teach…she taught school every night as she helped with homework with her eleven children….that's why we all received our diplomas! Thanks, Mom.
Due to tough times, Julie's family moved from Vermillion to Philip, South Dakota, and at age 14, Julie hired out working for a farm couple doing cooking, cleaning and laundry. She was paid a whopping $3.50 a week. In 1931, when mom was 16 years old, she met a handsome young man, Clair Brooks, who was employed at Dorothy Brothers Car Sales and Repair in Philip, SD. They met at a youth gathering at the Methodist church. Mom said she fell in love with Clair the first moment she saw him. They began their courtship and were married July 6, 1933 in Rapid City, South Dakota.
To this union, twelve children were born. Dad continued to work at Dorothy Brothers Car Sales and Repair until 1937, when they moved to Watertown, SD. Clair worked at Byer Chevrolet and in 1940 Clair moved his family again to Sisseton, SD, where he started Brooks Body Shop, which later became Brooks Motors. Meanwhile, Mom was busy with eleven children gardening, baking, cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc. She was also the bookkeeper for Brooks Body Shop and after the kids went to bed, she burned the midnight oil sewing and repairing car seat covers. Even though mom was always busy, she put her family first – we all knew it and felt it. Amidst her busy life, she somehow managed to fit in the office of Cub Scout leader, 4-H leader, President of the Women's Ministries at the Assembly of God church, as well as an adult Sunday School teacher and held community Bible studies. Mom enjoyed baking and cooking. She was known for having a "bakery" in her home and was known for her famous "gooey" caramel rolls. Mom loved to cook and deliver meals to friends and shut-ins and had an extensive ministry of writing cards and letters to family and anyone who needed encouragement.
Julie's life described a life of selflessness, gratitude and generosity. When asked what her most meaningful treasure was, without hesitating she said, "My children, their mates, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I love them all so much." When asked what was one of the most meaningful moments in her life, she quickly responded, "When I invited Jesus Christ into my life in April 1952, God gave me joy and gave me assurance that I would go to heaven. He also gave me the strength and guidance to take care of our large family and to spiritually train them in the ways of the Lord."
Mom was definitely proud of her Norwegian heritage and was overjoyed when we prayed the Norwegian prayer at mealtime. If you knew mom she always had a coffee cup about 6 inches away from her. She had a dream fulfilled when she and Dad were able to travel to Norway to visit their relatives and she got to sharpen up her Norwegian language. Mom and Dad loved to travel and were blessed to be able to go to Europe, Japan, The Holy Land, Alaska, etc. They also enjoyed their winter home in Apache Junction, AZ but were always happy to come home where the family and grandchildren were.
In October 1999, her husband Clair passed away. In 2009, Julie moved up to Edgewood Assisted Living in Sisseton, SD. She enjoyed the staff and the residents, loved to participate in bowling, and loved to pray and witness with the other residents. In February 2016, she moved to Tekakwitha Living Center due to declining health where she resided until March 18 when she passed away.
Before she passed away, we asked her what she'd like to be remembered for; her blue eyes twinkled as she gently smiled and said, "I want to be remembered for my deep love for my family and for God, and I want to be known for praying for my family daily and praying without ceasing." Then she took Gloria's hand to be sure to get her last request in, "I am praying I will live long enough to see all my children, mates, grand children, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren love God with all their hearts." In a firm loving tone she concluded, "I want you to know, I will be standing at the gate of heaven to greet you and to tell you that I love you and all your family dearly."
We will miss Mom, the queen, the hub of our family who proudly ruled from her chair, until she took her last breath. She was always bringing the Brooks family together for reunions, holidays or any reason to eat and have fun.
Mom, you are gone but will never be forgotten. We will miss you like crazy. We'll miss your smiles, your hugs, your words of encouragement, your letters and cards, your stories, your humor, but most of all, the look of Jesus on your face that made each one of us feel so loved and special. Thank you for leaving us a legacy of an unwavering faith, a deep love for God and prayer to carry on until we meet you at heaven's gate. We love you mom, see you soon!
Julie is survived by: Janice (Jake) Brooks, Sisseton, SD; Larry and Terry Brooks, Seattle, WA; Glen Brooks, Victoria, MN; Jack and Angie Brooks, Fergus Falls, MN; Cleon and Marlys Brooks, Sisseton, SD; Larry and Gloria (Brooks) Lundstrom, Sisseton, SD; Wes and Diane Brooks, Walker, MN; Jerry and Sherry Brooks, Oak Creek, WI; Dale Brooks and Theresa Thode, Sisseton, SD; Billy Brooks and Marita Pond, Sisseton, SD; Rick Brooks, Sisseton, SD. Julie is survived by one sister, Helga Warrington, Denver, CO; and by 32 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great grandchildren. The surviving family now totals 137.
Julie was proceeded in death by her parents; husbamd, Clair; infant daughter, Janet; son, Jake; daughter-in-law, Marvelyn; great grandson, Nick Kuehn; and three brothers and three sisters.
There will be public viewing at 6:15-7 PM on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at Family Life Assembly of God, Sisseton, SD, with the family and friends service following at 7 PM. Funeral services will be held at Family Life Assembly of God, Sisseton, SD, on Thursday, March 24, 2016, at 11 AM with lunch following.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials for Julie Brooks be given to Family Life Assembly of God, Sisseton, SD, and/or church or ministry of your choice. Thank you.
Many have asked where to send a card or memorial, you can send it to Gloria Lundstrom, c/o Larry Lundstrom Ministries, PO Box 300, Sisseton SD 57262.
We cherish your prayers during this time.