James “Jim” David Brooks, 79, of Three Rivers, MI, passed away on Friday, July 8, 2022.

Jim was born to Thomas W. and Beulah M. (Drake) Brooks on October 29th, 1942, according to his actual birth certificate, contradicting his propensity to claim to be 5-10 years younger. He was born in Detroit, Michigan, in a year when the Tigers were playing about the same. Jim watched every game he could and loved attending with his family, sometimes creating elaborate point-system based contests, that only he could understand. His nephew, Jeff Romig, reports, “I’m pretty sure they were rigged.”

The Brooks family moved from Detroit to Three Rivers in 1950 where Jim remained for the rest of his life. Jim graduated from Three Rivers High School in 1961. According to notes in his 1961 TRHS Reflector – he was “a swell guy.” The yearbook staff described him as “neither quiet nor loud, but you’d always find him in a crowd.” In high school, Jim was one of the Rocky Mountain Boys – a self-named group of four friends who walked the hallways of the school singing – apparently to no future commercial success.

Jim served his country for six years in the Army National Guard of Michigan as a tank gunner. Although his unit was never called up to active duty, they were sent in to maintain order at the tail end of the Detroit Riots of 1967. “There was really nothing happening by the time my unit arrived, but we enjoyed driving around the empty streets in tanks. It was neat,” he recently recalled. He reported that his favorite training exercise took place at Fort Custer, where they played a form of tag with tanks in the dark.

Jim worked at Continental Can Company and then went on to Armstrong International where he worked as a machinist until his retirement. He was a faithful member of the Three Rivers Bible Church and was often found reading his favorite scriptures on his back porch. In fact, Pastor Jeff stopped by to find him reading the Bible just last week after which Jim said, “Wow, that was lucky. I hope I scored some points.”

Jim was a loving husband to Jane (Harding) Brooks, who he was introduced to on a double date while she was still a sophomore at Three Rivers High School and he a recent graduate, not so scandalous in those days. They were married on December 27th, 1964, celebrating their 57th anniversary in the same Three Rivers home they’ve lived in together since 1972. He was always sure to introduce her as his “much older” wife. Jim carried her senior photo with him in his wallet all his life so that, no matter where he was, she’d always be close by.

One of Jim’s favorite pastimes in the last few years was taking care of his neighbors’ dog Charlie (Joe and Carol Whitehead). Their relationship was one of mutual benefit. After being asked to simply watch the dog for a couple of days many years ago, Charlie and Jim became inseparable. After Carol and Joe went to work, Charlie would wait anxiously for Jim to come to his rescue and take him for their daily ritual of walks throughout Three Rivers. The two of them might be seen walking the neighborhood, visiting McDonald’s drive-thru for an afternoon snack, or taking a quiet stroll through the cemetery together. If not up for a walk, they’d take a drive and, on occasion, allow Jane to come along for the ride – as long as she sat in the backseat as Charlie “belonged” in the passenger seat.

According to Jim, his honors included “only needing two chances to pass the 4th grade,” and buying the 50,000th hotdog at Weenie King, one of his favorite places to share a healthy lunch with Charlie, after which he proclaimed, “I got a t-shirt and a write-up on the front page of the paper.”

Jim attended every possible concert or event that his five grandchildren participated in, often driving hours with Jane to make sure they didn’t miss a moment.

Remaining to cherish Jim’s memory are his wife, Jane, his favorite daughter, Brandi Renee (Brooks) Clark (Jeff Clark); his favorite son, Brian David Brooks (Jodi Rector-Brooks); his loudest daughter Stephanie Anne Brooks; grandchildren, Zachary Norton; Jarrid, Nolan, Zoey and Gavin Rector-Brooks; brother, Dan Brooks (and Mary); sisters, Martha (Romig) Miller (and Gordon) and Anita Burke (and George).

He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Ezekiel Brooks; and two sisters, Janet Clark and Carolyn Brooks.

Many more will likely miss Jim dearly, who had been only recently known to his family. These include Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Ron DeSantis and Devin Nunes - who cared about Jim so much that they even sent him a, recently discarded, “personal” family Christmas card (sent to less than one million people who gave just a “small” donation), and a grateful Nigerian prince who emailed Jim requesting temporary funds until their royal family fortunes could again be claimed.

Visitation will be held on Friday, July 15, 2022 at noon at Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold St., Three Rivers. A funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Jeff Homan officiating. He will be laid to rest at his new address in Riverside Cemetery, where all his future political mail will be forwarded.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be directed to the Humane Society or swing by Weenie King of Three Rivers, Jim and Charlie’s favorite lunch spot, grab a couple of hotdogs, take a walk with a friend, and just enjoy life.

Online condolences may be shared at https://hohnerfh.com/james-david-brooks/.

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