BUCKHANNON — Richard “Dale” Brooks, 80, 920 Montrose Ave., Orange City, died Thursday July 11, 2013 at Fish Memorial in Orange City, Fla. He was born in Frenchton, to the late Elmer Samuel and Maye Laura Brooks, school teachers and dairy farmers.
He is survived by his sister, Joan Sheppard of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and his companion Jane Calvert. He is also survived by his former wife Theresa Brooks, children Rick Brooks (Tammy), Barbara Haulsey, Lynn Pasqualle (John), and Scott Brooks (Brandy). He had nine grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by brothers Jack and Estel (Shorty), sisters Betty Dye and Imogene Brooks.
From a musical family and always a music lover himself, Dale began playing guitar as a young boy with his brothers, who were taught by their father. He also learned to play the trumpet and eventually played 22 different instruments, as well as singing and writing songs. He was inducted as a member of the Rock-a Billy Hall of Fame.
After working as a tool and dye maker among various other jobs, including working at Traders Bank in Spencer, W.Va., he enjoyed his calling as broadcaster. He had a television show “Big Boy Frolics” in the 1950s and worked at and co-owned Radio stations for many years. He also wrote columns for newspapers, authored books and published words and music for many songs. He always remained in radio, and owned his last station, WLAB in St. Pauls, N.C., until he was severely injured in a motorcycle accident in May 1979. He became disabled and later sold the station. He moved to Orange City, Fla. in 1982. He continued to play music locally at many venues.
In the early 80s, he purchased a mobile home park, and managed it until 2008, when he retired. Dale was neighborhood watch Block Captain for many years. He was very involved in fundraising for charities such as March of Dimes, Lions Club (Past President), American Heart Association as well as volunteer Firefighter/Police in Spencer, W.Va..
He recently wrote a newspaper column, “Ponderings” in the DeLand Beacon, sharing amusing stories about his days in his home town of Buckhannon, W.Va. His hometown newspaper also carried his column.
With his zest for life and love of music and laughter he will be missed.
A memorial service was held at Lighthouse Church of 15A at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 14 and a Celebration of Life was at 4 p.m. in Debary at the Four Townes Moose Lodge on Benson Junction Road, where all who would like to play music, sing, and to share memories of Dale’s life are invited. Food will be served. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Easter Seals Foundation.