Evelyn Irene Brooks
Evelyn Irene Brooks, 95, of Springfield, died Thursday, September 6, 2018. She will be remembered by her family as a loving and talented mother and grandmother with an adventurous spirit and a zest for life’s opportunities.
Evelyn was born April 2, 1923 in Lafayette, Tennessee, the daughter of Ottie and Stella Mae Gwin Huffines. The family moved to the Girard area when she was two; Evelyn lived her entire adult life in Springfield. She married Robert Brooks in 1947; they divorced in 1972.
Evelyn attended school in Girard, Illinois, and received a high school diploma with the Lanphier class of ’66, an accomplishment of which she was proud as she had to leave school to help with support of the family during the Great Depression. She was employed during World War 2 at the Illiopolis ammunition plant, and after the war worked as manager of the lunch counter at the downtown Walgreen’s. Having stayed home for 20 years as a homemaker, Evelyn then worked for 25 years as a secretary for District 186 Special Education Department, from where she retired in 1992. After retirement she conducted group and private tours for the Springfield Visitor’s Bureau and provided tours throughout the Midwest and eastern United States through EBEE Tours, a company she started at age 70. With a passion for travel she was known to work the state fair each summer to save enough money to take an enjoyable family road trip. Our favorite will always be packing up the Oldsmobile with camping equipment and heading to the Rocky Mountains for three weeks in 1968.
Evelyn volunteered with many community organizations over the years including the PTA, having served as president at Fairview, Edison and Lanphier; as a Red Cross instructor; tour guide at the Governor’s mansion throughout the Thompson – Ryan administrations, her favorite family being the Edgars. A long-time member of the Old State Capital historical group, she gave tours and participated in period reenactments. Evelyn was a member of the Springfield Garden Club and the Kiwanis Club, and remained active until the loss of eye sight prohibited her participation. Talented in sewing, embroidery, needle point and quilting, she completed several last quilts for loved ones as her eye sight was failing. She also loved to write and left many stories and personal experiences for the family.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents; sister Gladys Flood; and brothers Lester and Donald Huffines.
She is survived by her children, Dale (Pamela) Brooks of New Berlin, Phillip (Karen) Brooks of Springfield, and Janette Walker of Denver, Colorado; grandchildren Amanda (David) Ushman of New Berlin, Lance (Sara McDivitt) Brooks of Denver, Colorado, Andrea (Jason Liddell) Walker of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Kelly (Gage) Osthoff of Greeley, Colorado; great-grandchildren Alex Cloyd, James Ushman, and Wesley Liddell; step great-grandchildren David (Jessica Keefe) Ushman and Bradley Ott; step great-great-grandchild Ethan Ushman; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family of Evelyn Brooks is being served by Staab Funeral Home. Visitation Friday 4-7, services Saturday at 10; Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois. Pallbearers are Lance Brooks, Alex Cloyd, James Ushman, Bradley Ott, Gage Osthoff, Al Klunick; honorary pallbearer Mike Seitz.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are welcome to: Brandt-Thomas Educational Center, 3240 Hedley Road, Suite C, Springfield, IL 62711; Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center, 2301 East Lake Shore Drive, Springfield, 62712; or The Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, 455 Sherman Street, #500, Denver, Co 80203.