Bobby Lee Brooks, age 91, of Bedford, passed away on October 9, 2023, at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Irving after a brief illness.
Bobby was born on March 12, 1932, in Rumley, Texas to Melvin and Cora Lee (Bagby) Brooks. Bobby and his brothers Vernon and Elton were children of the Depression and war years. They grew up working alongside their parents to farm along the Lampasas River out of the necessity of the times, and the brothers all honed a strong work ethic that would see them through their lives.
Bobby attended Clayrock School through 8th grade, then Lampasas High School where he graduated in 1949. He took accounting classes at Jackson's Business College, and his first job was in the cost department at Cameron Mills in Waco. He was drafted and served in the Army from 1953-1955 in Orleans, France, where his knack for numbers led to accounting and finance assignments.
Upon returning stateside, he continued to build upon his experience, enrolling again at Ms. Jackson's to take advanced accounting courses. He went to school in the mornings, and in the afternoons worked with his father and uncle Earl Brooks building houses. After a few months, he got on at Fort Hood and began his long career as a civil servant, starting out in the military pay department, then moved to installation accounts. It didn't take long for him to get a position with the Internal Audit Division, where he spent the majority of his career. Bobby retired in 1987 with 32 years of service. He has said that the work was interesting and challenging and that he also enjoyed the camaraderie and lifelong friendships developed there. And, of course, he learned to play a mean game of 42 during lunch breaks - a game he still played daily with his neighbor until just a few weeks ago.
Another benefit of working at Fort Hood was that he met a feisty redhead there named Pawnee Curry. She worked in the key punch department, and his job conveniently required frequent trips there to get cards punched. They were married on August 6, 1960, and set out on a wonderful life together. His carpentry skills came in handy for his 51 years of marriage, as he and Pawnee left a trail of new and remodeled homes in Copperas Cove, Lampasas, and Gatesville that Bobby built to Pawnee's specifications. Together, they were thoughtful stewards of the soil, and every place they had was left in much better (and greener) condition than when they found it. Bobby lost Pawnee in 2011, but he was still the steward of her home place and loved tending to his cows there. He was an animal whisperer, with the ability to tame any dog, befriend the most skittish cat, and had a soft spot for baby goats. His most prized animals, though, were his partners in his ranching operation, Bear and Oreo, two Great Pyrenees that loved Bobby as much as he loved them.
Bobby enjoyed Westerns any way he could get them: Gunsmoke, John Wayne movies, and Elmer Kelton novels, among many others. Throughout his life, he enjoyed traveling, hunting, tending to his garden, and frying the catfish he'd caught in the Lampasas River. He was a long-time member of the Broad Street Church of Christ in Lampasas. Bobby was an avid fan of the Badgers, Cowboys, Rangers, and Longhorns, and went to numerous games over the years with his family. Even though he was in the hospital these last two weeks, he still watched or kept up with all of them, and was worried his rehab schedule would interfere with a game. His kindness, easygoing nature, and fantastic smile never failed him and earned him friends wherever he was throughout his life.
He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and brothers.
Survivors include his daughter, Peggy Barr, and husband Jim of Bedford, and their daughter, Autumn of Austin; daughter, Stephanie DeWitt and husband John of San Angelo, and their daughter, Mallory of Lubbock; and son, Robert Larry Carothers and family. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, cherished lifelong friends, and his devoted Great Pyrenees, Oreo.
Funeral services will be Sunday, October 15, at 2:00 p.m. at Sneed-Carnley Funeral Chapel in Lampasas with visitation beginning at 1:00. Burial will follow at Rock Church Cemetery in Rumley.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the LHS Alumni Scholarship Fund, 207 W. 8th Street, Lampasas, TX, 76550, or one of Bobby's other favorite places, Fort Chadbourne historic site, fortchadbourne.org, or your own favorite charity.