A graveside memorial service for Jerry Brooks will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, at the Bent/Las Animas County Cemetery Elder Chapel in Las Animas, Colo.

Military Committal Rites will be provided by the local V.F.W. and American Legion Posts. There will be a celebration of Brooks' life following graveside services at the John Rawlings Museum Grand Hall. A memorial service will be held in Longmont, Colo., at a later date.

Jerry Dean Brooks died on Feb. 14, 2020, at his home in Las Animas, Colo., from complications from heart and lung failure. He was born on Aug. 2, 1938, in Las Animas, Colo.

Brooks grew up in Las Animas surrounded by family — an older brother, Joseph E. Brooks Jr.; two grandmothers and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

He graduated from Bent County High School in 1956 and joined the United States Marine Corps that summer. In 1960, he married Carole Hayter and they divorced in 1974.

He graduated from Colorado State University with a BA in history in 1962. In 1963, he started teaching and coaching at Frederick Junior High School, and in 1964 earned an MA in history from CSU. He taught history and coached baseball and basketball at several schools, including Longmont High School, Erie High School, Niwot High School and Northeast Junior High School.

In 1969, he was elected by students at Longmont High School as Teacher of the Year and earned that award again at Niwot High School in 1979.

He married Valerie Uilk in 1979 and they divorced in 1983.

He bought the Raymond Store and Cabins in 1981, and spent the summers working at the store, visiting with customers and travelers until 2018. Jerry was a prolific writer, and he kept a daily journal, published "Aphorically" Speaking (selected thoughts taken from his journal) for several years, and published two books: "San Pedro" (a novel), and "The Bee Way" (a collection of his writing). He always encouraged students, colleagues, friends and family to write daily. He was concerned about the state of the world and wanted to engage anyone he met to actively discuss issues concerning it. He challenged people to think about human connections and loved thought-provoking conversation.

He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Edward Brooks Sr., and mother, Florence Evelyn (Whipple) Brooks; son, Matthew Simon Brooks-Uilk and sister-in-law, Betty (Holt) Brooks.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 37 years, Joyce (Hatfield) Brooks; children, Jeffrey (Sylvia) Brooks, Andrew (Mindy) Brooks, Daniel Brooks, Summer (Josh) Dallman and Rachel Brooks (Andy Collins); grandchildren, Jenna (Mark) Deubler, Danielle and Mason Brooks, Marcy (Gary) Cox, Molly (Josh) Swires, Anna Brooks, Taylor Brooks, Chloe and Lucas Dallman, Orie, Hadley and Amos Brooks-Collins; six great-grandchildren, Mya, Maria, Eleanor, Simon, Zebadiah and Magnolia; brother, Joseph Edward Brooks, Jr.; many cousins, other relatives and a host of friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Arkansas Valley Hospice in care of Horber Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 431, Las Animas, Colo., 81054. For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit www.horberfuneralchapel.com.