With great sorrow, the Brooks family announces that Jerry Dale Brooks, 79, of Gallatin, Tennessee passed away following an extended illness, finding his peace in heaven, on November 3, 2023.
Jerry was born in the Addie community near Sylva, North Carolina on March 8, 1944, to his parents, the late Isaac Brooks and Helen Blanton Brooks Bryson.
A graduate of Sylva Webster High School, Jerry spent his childhood in nature. He loved to tell stories of growing up on Buff Creek, camping and fishing in the mountains of western North Carolina, and getting into mischief with his friends. He was never happier than when he was on a lake or surrounded by nature.
Jerry began his career in the DeKalb County Police Department in Georgia where he met his beautiful wife, Patricia Thomas, who was a police radio and switchboard operator with DeKalb County Police Department. Married on September 28, 1969, they lived in Georgia with their two sons for 10 years, until he accepted a position in private security as a Special Agent for Exxon. This position led Jerry and his family from Atlanta, GA to Memphis, TN, Richmond, VA, Denver, CO and Midland, TX. Upon Jerry’s retirement the family settled in Gallatin, TN and have happily lived there for 25 years.
One of Jerry’s proudest professional opportunities was guarding President Jimmy Carter and other dignitaries, as well as the CEO of Exxon. This position took him to nearly every state the United States, also giving him a chance to fish in lakes and streams across the country.
Jerry was a lifelong outdoorsman from the time he was a child on Buff Creek. His love of the outdoors occupied his time. There seemed to always be one more place to visit, one more adventure to undertake and having never met a stranger, one more friend to make.
Above all else, Jerry’s pride and joy was his family. He loved his children and grandchildren fiercely, as well as his good fishing buddies who became family.
As his son, Rob said, “After years of battling health issues, Dad gained his wings. Watch out Heaven, the storyteller is on his way! It’s hard to find a picture of the man without a fish in front of his face or an animal in his lap, but for all who knew him, they knew he was most passionate about four things . . . hunting, fishing, family, and friends!! Fly high on those mountain tops, Daddy!! We love you."
In addition to his wife, Jerry is survived by his sons, Thomas Chad Brooks (Jennifer Cowart) of Denton, TX and James Robert Brooks, of Gallatin, TN; grandchildren Zachary Matthew Brooks of Bozeman, MT and Taylor Abigail Brooks of Denton, TX. Jerry’s family includes his beloved uncle, Max Blanton of Sylva, one sister, Elaine Brooks Harwood of Chapel Hill, NC and sisters-in-law, Kathy Cox (Doug) of Myrtle Beach, SC and JoDee Ward of Monroe, GA. Several nieces and nephews who were also much-loved members of Jerry’s extended family.
The family will receive friends at Appalachian Funeral Home in Sylva, NC at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 11, 2023, followed by a memorial service at 2:00 pm, with Rev. Earl Holden officiating.
In lieu of flowers and to honor of Jerry's memory, memorial donations may be made to favorite charities, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to The Nature Conservancy.