A big smile. A big love for his hometown. A big heart for helping others.
Those were among attributes cited during the weekend as friends, business associates and others talked about the death Friday of Seymour native John Brooks.
The retired banker, entrepreneur and civic leader was 74. Family and friends say he died peacefully in his sleep.
Associates describe Brooks as a strong family man with a strong devotion to helping others, most often quietly with little or no public notice.
“Most people don’t know about a lot of the stuff that John did,” Steve Stanfield, director of Boys & Girls Club of Seymour, said. “He never beat himself on the chest about what he did.”
Mark Hays of Seymour shared that observation. He considers Brooks a mentor.
“He was someone always interested in the community more than he ever allowed himself to take credit for,” Hays said.
Business partner and friend Gary Green credited Brooks with helping the poor in the community as well as extending open arms and support when Seymour’s Hispanic community began to grow.
“He did so much behind the scenes to help establish the poor and the Hispanic community, which he did through his church, St. Ambrose Catholic Church,” Green said. “When we had our business, First Class Business Systems, there were people all the time that came in who John would help financially, or if they were in some kind of trouble, he would help them find a solution. He just cared about people.”
Green and Hays pointed to Brooks’ influence and experience in banking and with others in the community for helping many people financially and professionally.
Brooks retired as president of the former Fidelity Federal and had earlier worked at the former Home Federal.
All content copyright ©2013 The Tribune, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.