Thomas Ray Brooks

May 1, 1940 - July 18, 2020

Thomas Ray Brooks was born on May 1, 1940, in Spokane, Washington, full of spirit and ready for mischief. He left us on July 18, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. He has joined his parents Anne and Ray Brooks (who will try to keep him out of trouble).

Tom is survived by his wife of 56 years, Jill L. Brooks; children, Kindra Brooks Strachan, Jon Thomas Brooks, and Shannon Brooks Archer; eight grandchildren, Connor, Bryson, and Dylan Strachan, Parker, Trenton, and Caitlin Brooks, and Brooke and Collin Archer. It’s a good thing he loved his kids, grandkids, and dogs so much, because there were plenty to go around and family dinners were always loud. He passed on that spirit and mischief to his kids and grandkids. He also leaves behind his brother Dale Brooks and sister-in-law Sally Brooks of LaQuinta, California, to corroborate all the stories that Tom would insistently DENY he took part in.

Tom grew up with a profound love for aviation while nestled under the flightpath of Boeing’s newest and best planes in his family home in Washington. Tom graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelors in Civil Engineering in 1964. He would join the Air Force upon graduation and flew as a T-38 instructor pilot. Thankfully, his “Roof Stomping” improved quickly and he only fell and broke his arm during flight school once. He spent 5 years active duty in the Air Force and 18 years in the reserves as an Air National Guardsmen and for the Air Force. He retired as a Lt. Colonel. He flew with American Airlines for over 30 year. He instructed in the Cessna Citation, and flew the 727, 757, 767 and his last 2 ½ years the DC10 from Dallas to Honolulu. When asked what it was like to land the DC10 Tom said, “It was like landing a 3 story building”.

Second to his love for aviation was his family. He coached his children’s soccer teams, hollered the loudest during track and cross country meets (his voice was pretty loud), and even learned how to add rhinestones to the kids figure skating costumes, even his son Jon’s. Upon retirement, Tom continued his volunteer work and enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren, and grand-dogs. He was well known to pick up a “sick” grandkid from school and take them to grab fries and a burger. Tom also made frequent trips to see his grand-dogs to watch TV and throw the ball while their owners were at work.

Tom was spunky, sometimes a bit hard headed (or was that just hard of hearing?), but he had a servant’s heart for volunteering. He helped start the Arlington Night Shelter which became the Arlington Life Shelter. He worked at various church events such as the Pumpkin Patch (he was taken off the hayride due to his attempts to launch the ride over potholes and such). He also helped to build houses in Guatemala with the “God’s Child Project”. Due to his lifetime of volunteer work he was knighted into the Knights of Malta.

Tom was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend that kept the same stubborn and spirited personality, and passion for service until the very end. In those moments he could still be heard asking and making his uniquely Tom statements to get his grandchildren to say “really grandpa?” or just smile and laugh with him.

A livestream service will be held on August 7th at 1:00 pm at Grace Avenue United Methodist Church in Frisco, Texas, where Tom was a member. Link to the service:

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the God’s Child Project: or Grace Avenue UMC God’s Child/Tom Brooks.

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We miss the Legacy class and will forever remember Tom. Jim and Sue Miller, August 5, 2020 Dear Jill and family Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the death of your husband and father and grandfather Tom. May his memory be a blessing for your whole family. Life is fragile and heartbreaking and it can be turned upside down in a minute. You all have been going through some hard times and with the grace of GOD .....HE will be with you in the coming days and months to comfort you. Only knowing Tom for a couple of years, we thoroughly enjoyed his humor and wisdom. The obituary sure proved what kind of man he was. What a wonderful life all of you had with him. Our love and Prayers are with you.
joe and mary lou carey, August 5, 2020 Dear Jill & family, Keeping you all in my prayers during this difficult time. Tom was a wonderful man & always intentionally asked how I was doing when he saw me at church, I appreciate that so much! Know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Sarah Stobaugh :) Sarah Stobaugh, August 5, 2020 Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time and in the days to come. Ed and Kay Frantz, August 5, 2020 I only knew Tom for a short time. He enjoyed his happy hour time while Gracie as a puppy played with Izzy in the backyard. May you rest in peace.
Candy, August 3, 2020