Curtis Alva Brooks

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


When the USAO Foundation was formed 36 years ago, one of its founding trustees was local banker Curtis Brooks, who went on to serve 50-plus years in banking and supported the University of Science and Arts as an outspoken advocate. At the time of his death at 92 this week, he was chairman emeritus of the First National Bank.


When he died on Monday, USAO lost a great friend, said USAO President John Feaver.


“It’s hard to imagine Chickasha without Curtis Brooks,” said USAO President John Feaver. “He was strong, stabilizing influence in our community and a genuine friend to the University. He cared about students and their education, and he cared about the college as a partner in the community. The Brooks family demonstrated its heart for this institution. Curtis will never be replaced.”


Services are scheduled at 10 a.m. Friday (March 29) at Epworth Methodist Church.


Curtis A. Brooks was born Feb. 9, 1921 in Paoli, Okla. He graduated from Pauls Valley High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University). Later he attended the SMU School of Banking in Dallas.


Brooks served the U.S. Army as honorary major of combat operations and training staff officer. He earned two Bronze Stars.


He joined the First National Bank & Trust Co. in Chickasha in 1954 as assistant vice president. He became chairman of its board in 1963. He also chaired the Cyril State Bank and served on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Bankers Association.


He traveled abroad as U.S. independent banking ambassador for the Dwight D. Eisenhower People to People International Leadership Program.


He was a founding member of the USAO Foundation Board of Trustees when that group was formed in 1977. He was appointed by Gov. Henry Bellman to a statewide Study Committee on USAO in the 1980s.


He served on the following boards: Chickasha Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, OSU Alumni Association, Southwest Oklahoma Girl Scouts, Downtown Merchants Association, First Church of Christ Scientist and Black Beaver Council of Boy Scouts.


He served or advised other groups, including the League of Women Voters, Grady County United Way, YMCA youth programs and the local Parent Teacher Association.


He and his wife, the late Gwen Brooks, were honored as Mr. and Mrs. Chickasha at a Christmas Parade in the 1990s.


He is preceded in death by his parents, Luther and Annie Brooks; wife Gwendolyn DeVere Brooks; son Michael R. Brooks; daughter-in-law, Deanna King Brooks.


Survivors include granddaughter, Stephanie and Daren Connel and great-grandchildren, Kenna, Michael, Jacob and Tanner; son, Pat and Paula Brooks, granddaughters, Stacey Brooks and Jennifer Borsch, great-grandsons, Elijah and Kristopher; granddaughter, Shelley Moore and Pete Moore and great-grandchildren, Winn and Lily; daughter, Nancy and Dale Smith, granddaughter, Melinda and Kyle Abrahams; step-granddaughter, Stacy and Brandon Golden; step-great grandchildren, Layton and Sadie; step-grandson, Dale and Ashtyn Smith, step-great-grandchild, Campbell; daughter, Joyce and Bruce Murray, granddaughter, Melissa and Alan Schultz, great-grandchildren, Amelia and Alexander; grandson, Ross Murray.


Services are under the direction of McRay Funeral Home in Chickasha.


Memorial contributions can be made to the USAO Foundation-Michael Brooks Music Scholarship or the Chickasha Area Arts Council.