Joseph was born on October 24, 1927, with mild cerebral palsy, in Uniontown, PA, to Joseph, Jr. and Margaret Brooks. He died December 14, 2015, at the age of 88.
He grew up in Montclair and Essex Fells, NJ. He became a special first-class scout (couldn’t swim) and graduated in the upper tenth of his high school class. His part-time jobs were: pharmacy stock clerk, soda fountain worker, folding boxes, NAACP volunteer, Junior Achievement worker, YMCA fundraiser, and supermarket stock clerk.
Joseph majored in business administration at Western Michigan College, 1948-1952. He also majored in accounting during night school and earned a master’s degree in library science at Western Reserve University, Cleveland. At WMC he earned a scholarship and worked a night shift as a sweeper at KVP for two years. He was employed by Eastern Greyhound Lines, Cleveland, account payable clerk, 1955-1960; Lansing Public Library, business librarian, 1962-1989. In 1965, Joseph married Emma Nette Gray Brooks and they had a son, Stephen William. She passed away in November 1994.
Joseph built the house of his dreams on a 5-acre plot in 1998, complete with 144 trees that he planted. He married Betty Walker Brooks who led him to Christ that same year. She passed away in 2009. He had a lifelong interest in the stock market and gave money to several churches for scholarship funds, and to support Betty’s three grandchildren, who received master’s degrees in marketing, special education, and law. He attended Maranatha Baptist Church, South Church, Pennway Church and the Family Worship Center.
Joseph is survived by Ruth Hester Brooks who he married in 2010; his son, Stephen William Brooks of Lansing; and a host of friends and extended family members.
The funeral service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, December 21, 2015, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery. His family will receive friends beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday at the funeral home.