Death – Marian Dawn (Gilchrist) Brooks Obituary

Death – Obituary

Hill & Kunselman Funeral Home

Marian Dawn (Gilchrist) Brooks

Annandale, VA – Marian Dawn (Gilchrist) Brooks died 23 December 2021 in Annandale, Virginia. She was born 14 August 1929 in Northville, MI, but soon became a girl of the West with a brief stint living in Idaho and then settling down in Greeley, Colorado. It was a great town for a family, and the five ‘Gilchrist girls’ known for their great laughs were able to be fairly independent early on, roaming around the campus of what is now the University of Northern Colorado. They could also explore Greeley by walking and riding the bus. One of her favorite sayings was, ‘You can’t say enough about sidewalks’, which her children did not understand at first, growing up in Chippewa Township outside Beaver Falls, but now do. It’s so true!

She came to live in Beaver Falls when she decided to attend Geneva College, her denominational school (Reformed Presbyterian). By then she’d met her husband-to-be, (the late) Douglas K. Brooks of Beaver Falls, when he and his parents visited the Gilchrists in Colorado on a trip out West. Two of Marian’s older sisters had worked at John H. Brooks & Sons, the excavating and steel erection company, when they were at Geneva. All three of those sisters married boys from BF, and two of them spent most of their adult lives there—a great thing for them.

After they were married in 1950, Marian joined Doug as he completed his degree in business at Denison University in Granville, Ohio (finishing her Geneva degree in Spanish later); for part of his stint in the Marines in North Carolina, where she taught biology (they even lived in a renovated chicken coop!); and also when he was seconded to military intelligence at Ft. Riley, Kansas, during the Korean War. Later she taught Spanish at Lincoln High School, Ellwood City. Dad always laughed that they got confused about nine months versus nine years, as they had to wait nine years to have a child, but in 1959 they had their first baby, Elizabeth (Libbie) Dawn; in 1961, a son, Douglas Gilchrist; and then in 1973 Julia Lynne.

Marian and Doug were great, loving parents and aunt and uncle to many nephews and nieces. Dad, for example, would often take us miniature golfing on summer evenings, even after an early evening rain. He had been a high school friend of Harold Jackson, so another fun summer-evening event was driving to ‘The Cow’, and listening to the purply bug-zappers go off. In the winter he delighted in helping us sled down Thompson Road Extension from the top of the Slades’ hill to as far up the Todds’ and Martins’ hill as possible. And he frustrated us to no end, though we loved it, too, making us wait for ages in the hallway, as he got everything in the living room prepared ‘just so’ for Christmas morning. He was a very understanding father and a generous man.

Mom was an expert Christmas stocking stuffer, and she and Dad seemed always to pick the right, most thoughtful gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and other holidays. She loved reading and gave that gift to her children by picking out wonderful stories and books, taking us to the library weekly, and reading to us faithfully. When she brought home Green Eggs and Ham, The All-of-a-Kind Family, and From the Mixed-Up Files ofMrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, we knew she was a miracle-worker. She had a huge interest in World War II and its battle against true evil and introduced us to many books about that, including The Hiding Place. She also enjoyed getting to know people from other countries and cultures, several international students among them. Dad and Mom took us on yearly trips to Colorado to visit our grandparents and other family members and to other fun and historical spots, and we spent lots of time with many adventures at our Beaver Falls grandparents’ home with its park-like grounds.

What we celebrate most about Mom and Dad is their care for growing our Christian faith with family devotions, church participation, and love of Scripture. Mom grew up in a denomination that sang only Psalms and her favorite was 139. Mom and her great friend Sylvia Leidigh once studied the book of Jeremiah, and afterward Mom declared that ‘the whole Bible should be Jeremiah’! Mom really thought deeply about her faith, and that enhanced ours.

There are so many more things we’d like to say about our parents and their sacrificial care for us and others, but we will end by saying that Marian was proceeded in death by Doug in May of 2020; her loving parents, Herbert and Elizabeth Gilchrist; her beloved sisters and brothers-in-law Bettye (Dick) Garber; Ann (Stew) Lee; Agnes (Dean) Carson; and Paul McCracken. She is survived by her children and their spouses Roger, Christina, and Neal—and grandchildren: Caroline, Jonathan (Izzy), and Drew Brooks, and Iona and Nathanael McCluskey; her sweet sister Frances McCracken; and many nieces and nephews on both sides of the family.

We would like to thank the caring staff of BrightView Woodburn/Wellspring Village assisted living community in Annandale and personal caregivers from Ascent HomeCare and Home Care Assistance for their support, care, and humor over the last few years.

A memorial service for both Marian and Douglas Brooks will be held at the Hope Community RP Church building, 3400 5th Ave, Beaver Falls, at 12.30 pm, Thursday, 30 December 2021, The Rev. Dean Smith presiding. Memorial contributions may be made, if desired, to the Reformed Presbyterian Home (where Mom served on the board), 2344 Perrysville Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15214.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me! -Psalm 139.1

Posted online on December 28, 2021

Published in The Beaver County Times

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.