Dr. Clarence Brooks, from a family of Fort Worth physicians, dies at 62

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
More information Services Wake: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Brooks Family Practice clinic, 2200 Evans Ave. Funeral: 10 a.m. Saturday at Great Commission Baptist Church, 770 McCart Ave. Burial: Skyvue Memorial Gardens.

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Dr. Clarence Brooks had prostate cancer for the last three years of his life, but that didn’t stop him from seeing patients. He went to his office until eight days before his death, his wife, Sonya Brooks, said Tuesday.

Dr. Brooks died Saturday at his home with the jazz he loved playing in the background. He was 62.

“I would like for everyone to take my husband’s death as an opportunity to realize that health care is important for everyone,” Sonya Brooks said. “Anyone can be ill-affected by a disease, but it doesn’t define you. My husband never let his illness define him.”

Dr. Clarence Jackson Brooks was born Oct. 22, 1950, the fourth child of Marion and Marie Brooks. He was born while his father was attending medical school at Howard University.

As a young teenager, Dr. Brooks worked as a janitor in his father’s Fort Worth medical office but worked his way up to a desk job where he stayed until college. Like his father, Dr. Brooks attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., and earned his medical degree when he was 24, the youngest student in his class, Sonya Brooks said.

Dr. Brooks joined his father’s medical practice. He was also medical director at two nursing homes.

His volunteer work included the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, Howard University and the American Heart Association. He had an open-door policy for high school students needing physicals for athletics.

His cousin Dr. Michael Brooks, a surgeon, said he looked up to Dr. Brooks, who was 10 years older than he.

“I remember I was working in the clinic as a teenager. I was in awe of him — a young, good-looking guy coming in as a physician — that did have an impact on me,” Michael Brooks said.

Michael Brooks said his cousin could be quiet and introspective but also had parties that “were the place to be.”

The Rev. Jewel Granberry, associate pastor at Forest Hill Missionary Baptist Church, said he was a patient of Dr. Brooks and of his father going back at least 50 years, he said.

“He was an excellent person and friend,” Granberry said. “He would always talk to us about our family and old times.”

Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks described his brother as a “gentle soul who always put his patients first.”

Dr. Brooks was a “Renaissance man” who loved reading, collecting Harlem Renaissance artists and jazz, including musicians Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Roy Brooks said.

Their father taught his children the importance of community service, Roy Brooks said.

“My father always said that service is the rent that you pay for the air that you breathe,” Roy Brooks said. “My brother paid an awful lot of rent.”

Other survivors include daughters Leigh Brooks Butler and Codie Brooks; sisters Marian Bryant, Carol Brooks and Marie Anne Washington; and two grandsons.

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