Dr. John Irving Brooks, Jr. passed peacefully into eternal life Saturday, January 12, 2019 at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital surrounded by family. Dr. Brooks was born January 9, 1933 to John Irving Brooks, Sr. and Lillian Harris Brooks in Burlington, North Carolina where his uncle was a surgeon. He grew up in the small community of Brooksdale, outside Roxboro, in Person County. His family attended Brooksdale Methodist Church, which had been founded by his grandfather. Dr. Brooks attended Roxboro public schools. In high school he was a member of a debating team that won the state championship. He attended Wake Forest College, where he met Martha Viola "Motsie" Burden. They were joined in marriage on August 18, 1956. They had two children: John Irving Brooks III and Martha Frances "Marty" Brooks.
Dr. Brooks graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He completed three years of residency in Internal Medicine at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill and one year at the University Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He served as a captain in the Army Medical Corps for two years in Germany. After completing his residency in Chapel Hill, Dr. Brooks became board-certified in internal medicine.
Dr. Brooks moved to Tarboro, North Carolina in 1964 to join the Tarboro Clinic. He practiced his entire thirty-five year medical career in Tarboro. He served as president of the Tarboro Clinic for nine years. He was also on staff at Edgecombe General Hospital and served one term as chief of staff. He served one term as president of the Edgecombe-Nash Medical Society. During his career, Dr. Brooks was also quite active in teaching. He was appointed clinical professor of medicine at the UNC School of Medicine; in that capacity he precepted many fourth-year medical students. Dr. Brooks retired in 1998. He was a member and past president of the Vidant Edgecombe Hospital Development Council for ten years.
In retirement Dr. Brooks served as a full time volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, which was especially active in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd in 1999. He served with Habitat for Humanity for twelve years. He was a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Tarboro, becoming president for one term. He served on the Development Council for the Town of Tarboro during its successful bid to be recognized as an All-American City. He was recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce in 2000. He received the North Carolina Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service in 2003. He was an active member of the Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church where he served as a deacon, an elder, and a Sunday school teacher for many years. He and his wife Motsie led a church youth group for nine years.
During his career, Dr. Brooks enjoyed sailing and flying, becoming a licensed pilot. In retirement, he enjoyed fishing, reading, and attending events in the visual and performing arts.
In addition to his parents, Dr. Brooks was preceded in death by two sisters, Peggy Brooks Hester and Nancy Brooks Langston. He is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Motsie; son John and his wife Ellen; daughter Marty and her husband, Joseph Allen; grandson Casey Allen; one niece, two nephews and many close cousins.
The family would like to express its sincere thanks to the staff of Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, and The Fountains at the Albemarle, all of whose expertise gave Dr. Brooks every opportunity medical science could provide and whose compassion comforted him during his final illness.
Visitation will take place on Thursday, January 17 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Brooks home. On Friday, January 18 there will be a private graveside service for family at 1:00 p.m. at the columbarium at Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church. The Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be on Friday in the sanctuary of Howard Memorial at 2:00 p.m. with a reception in the Burns Fellowship Hall following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Howard Memorial (303 E. Saint James St. Tarboro, NC 27886).
Arrangements are by Carlisle Funeral Home, Inc., of Tarboro. Online condolences may be directed to the family by visiting www.carlislefuneralhome.com.