Bruce Lloyd Brooks, age 96, passed away in his sleep in the early hours of the morning of December 19 at Good Samaritan Village in Moscow, Idaho. Born in Carey, Idaho in 1920 to Lloyd and Nellie Olive Madonna (Bruce) Brooks, he moved with his parents and his older brother (Leonard Donald) to Northern Idaho near Bonners Ferry when Bruce was a child, where his father and mother worked in the lumber industry. His parents bought a small farm on the North Bench in the Kootenai River valley, where Bruce went to rural grade school. He attended high school in Bonners Ferry, where he lived with other boys from outlying farms as a teen during the Depression. He graduated from the University of Idaho where he was on the boxing and baseball teams, and where he met his wife, Cecile Shelton, of Moscow, who he married in 1943. He served as a Lieutenant in the Navy aboard ships engaged in various military actions in the Aleutians and South Pacific during the Second World War
Following the war the couple returned to Idaho, living in Orofino where he worked with the Agricultural Extension Service, and Moscow, where Bruce got his Masters degree, before he took a job with Montana State University in Bozeman. He attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he earned a PhD in Agricultural Economics. He worked in Agricultural Extension for WSU and was a professor of Agricultural Economics there and subsequently at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, as well as working as an advisor and professor for several years at universities in Faisalabad, Pakistan and Jabalpur, India under USAID programs; as an advisor in Kingston, Jamaica; and as an independent consultant to several major U.S. agribusiness corporations.
After retiring from the University of Illinois, Bruce returned to Moscow where he was active in Lions Club and the Methodist Church, and avidly followed Vandal football and basketball teams for many years. When asked by a friend what he himself considered his greatest athletic accomplishment, he thoughtfully responded that it was when he coached a baseball Little League farm team and watched in horror as his right fielder was hit in the head by a fly ball while day dreaming despite his loud cries from the bench.
Bruce was preceded in death by his brother (Leonard Donald), and by his son Mark. He is survived by his wife Cecile and their four children: sons Gary, Tim, and Leonard, and daughter Jane Stratton; five grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. He is fondly remembered by his friends and family for his skill and acumen at bridge and Scrabble, his gentle and soft-spoken nature, a keen sense of humor, bad jokes, imaginative stories, extremely poor singing, gardening, fishing trips, tolerance and appreciation of diversity.
The family wishes to thank the nurses and other members of the staff at Good Samaritan Village in Moscow who provided Bruce with care during the last several months.
At his request, there will not be a memorial service. Suggested donations include the Moscow Lions Club, the University of Idaho, or a charitable organization of your choice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel of Moscow and condolences may be left at www.shortsfuneralchapel.com