June Brooks passed away on Sunday, August 29th 2010. She was 86 years old. Surviving her are her children William Ben Brooks and his wife Lisa Masters of Brooklyn, New York, Rebecca Brooks Brawley and her husband Wade of Nichols Hills, Claudia Brooks Kittrell and her husband Stan of Ardmore; grandchildren, Rachel Brooks Brawley of Berea, Ohio, Wm. Parker Brawley, Christopher Brooks Chappell, Phares Causey of Nichols Hills, and Emily Rebecca Kittrell of Oklahoma City. She is also survived by her brother Major Brooks of Palm Springs, California, and one darling great grandchild, Heidi Brooke. She was a remarkable woman. She blew into this world with the Roaring 20s. She was born at home in Ardmore June 24, 1924 to Lillian Eva Berry Brooks and Major McKinley Brooks joining a family with an older sister, Jeannette and an older brother, Major, or Buddy as we call him. She was a darling little girl with bright eyes and shiny dark hair cut into a Buster Brown haircut. She told us that when she was a little girl her first job was worm farmer. She would dig worms out of her garden to sell to the fishermen. She spoke of the dust bowl days and remembered putting wet cloth over her face during the dust storms. She was a member of what journalist Tom Brokaw called in his 1998 book, the Greatest Generation. He wrote, "It is the greatest generation any society has ever produced. Growing up during the deprivation of the Great Depression she came of age, a young woman during World War II. Brokaw argued that the men and women of this generation fought not for fame and recognition, but because it was the right thing to do. She attended the University of Oklahoma and North Texas State Teachers College in Denton Texas where she met her husband Ben S. Brooks, deceased. During the 1950s she did what the rest of America did, she settled down and started a family, rebuilding America into a superpower. She just wasnt like anyone elses mother. Her children called her by her first name, June; Mama June when they were little and June or Junio after they were grown. When her daughters were in college her daughters would take her on spring break trips. Who else do you know who did that? She was that good as company and she was that much fun. To us she was bigger than life. When she walked into a room you knew it. She was a cross between Dolly Levi of Hello Dolly, Auntie Mame and Martha Stewart. She could do anything and was fearless about it. Her children were always amazed at the floral arrangements and table center pieces she made, the beaded evening gowns and mens suits she tailored. She is the only person we ever met who loved to iron. She could glaze windows better than the most experienced craftsmen. She painted her homes more than once. One summer after the children left for summer camp, she tied herself to the chimney and painted the outside of the house. The last time she painted her yellow house, she was 70 years old. She loved to cook and some of the best times of our lives were at her table. There was no task she was too timid to try. She had a great affection for Spain, its history, art, music, culture and food. She actually talked her way into a professional European kitchen where there had never been a women permitted, in order to capture the secrets of the Spanish national dish, paella. She had been a vocal major in college and she could sing beautifully. She sang at her daughters weddings. The bravest thing she ever did was in her 50s. She found herself a divorced woman with two children still to educate and wondered how she would make a living. She trained herself in public speaking on the issue most close to her heart, the Oil & Gas Energy Business. She spoke all over the world from small groups to crowds. She was a dynamic speaker and never bored her listeners. She was responsible for thousands of hand written cards and letters to elected representatives in Washington DC, telling them how important responsible energy independence is to the people of this country. I suspect that most of Ardmore would be surprised how highly regarded she was in the rest of the world. She was a member of the Interstate Oil Compact Commission and the American Association of Petroleum Landmen. In 1975 she was the only woman delegate to the World Petroleum Congress in Tokyo. That conference motivated her to go on the road preaching energy independence for the United States. She was elected to the board of directors of the Independent Petroleum Association of America and received the 1978 Special Service Award for Distinguished Service from the American Association of Petroleum Landmen. She received the Outstanding Woman in Energy Award from Women in Energy, the Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Petroleum Council and the Oklahoma Petroleum Council Speakers Bureau Award 1978 through1982 .
In 1982 she was one of the first eight women inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame by the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. That same year she received the Women in the News Award from the Oklahoma Hospitality Club. She received the Pioneer Woman Award in 1984 at the Marland Mansion Renaissance Ball in Ponca City. Dr. John Robinson, chairman of the E.W. Marland Estate Commission said, The Commission is pleased to recognize June Brooks as the 1984 Pioneer Woman recipient. She represents the spirit of all of our pioneer women, who continue to contribute so much to our state and nation. In 2005 she was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Energy Advocates during the 13th annual energy policy conference in Denver, Colorado. On June 9th, 2007 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City she was honored in A Salute to Oklahomas Energy Past by Oklahomas Energy Advocates. She was interviewed and appears in Glenda Carliles book Astronauts, Athlete & Ambassadors, Oklahoma Women from 1950 to 2007, published in 2007 in celebration of the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial. Her decline of the last two years has been a very difficult time for the entire family. Recently, when she was humming and singing to herself, and her daughter said, you are acting like little girl. And she replied I am a little girl. Recently she was saying goodbye as she sat at the foot of her bed. She looked up and said Please come find me. I am lost. We know that the little girl with the bright eyes and shiny black hair was found by God and taken home to heaven where she belongs. Services are Thursday, September 2nd at 2:00 p.m. at St. Philips Episcopal Church, 516 McLish Street, Ardmore, OK. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to Cross Timbers Hospice of Ardmore (580-223-0655) or St. Philips Episcopal Church, (580-226-2191) Ardmore, Oklahoma. The Honorary Pall Bearers are Charles W. VanEaton IV, Kevin Butler, John R. March III, David Mordy, Scott Heller, and Peter Fennell.