Cover photo for James Brooks's Obituary
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1951 James 2019

James Brooks

November 13, 1951 — January 18, 2019

James Steven Brooks, 67, passed away on January 18, 2019, in Rosebud, Texas. Steven was born on November 13, 1951 in Midland, Texas to James Marvin "JM" Brooks and Mary Kathryn Wagner Brooks.

"Steven" or simply "Brooks," as most of his friends knew him, attended Freeman Heights Elementary, Lamar Junior High, and graduated from Temple High School, Temple, Texas, in 1970. After sampling the educational offerings at Temple College for 2 years, Mary Hardin Baylor University for 1 year, and Baylor University for 1 year, he finally landed at East Texas State University, now known as Texas A&M University-Commerce, where he graduated with a B.S. in History and Political Science in 1975. While at ETSU, he pledged the East Texas Branch of the Acacia Fraternity, adding many new "brothers" in his life, who affectionately (if not accurately) nicknamed him "Tiny." Steven worked at Ralph Wilson Plastics for 14 years in the Layup Department. He left that position to try his hand as an entrepreneur, operating The Prairie Chicken tavern for 10 years, before taking early retirement in 1999 due to complications with diabetes. His marriage to Marilyn Nichols in 1980 ended after five years. On April 4, 1987, he married Tammy Ione Carroll, and though they later divorced, she remained the love of his life until the end. Brooks was a devoted son to his parents, and though he was an only child, it seemed as though they were raising a houseful, as they were equally devoted to the son they loved so deeply. Steven was a die-hard Aggie fan, he was a 12th man in his heart and soul, and when the college he graduated from eventually became part of the Texas A&M System, he was bursting with pride. Steven was also a huge fan of the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide, his mother's alma mater. As a student of history, he was a proud member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and the Sons of the American Revolution. A life-time and ardent member of the Democratic Party, Steven put huge signs in his yard leaving no doubt about who he supported in each election. A bumper sticker on his truck read "I'm Democrat born and Democrat bred, and when I die, I'll be Democrat dead."

Steven was predeceased by his parents.

Survivors include his "guardian angels" who cared for him until his death, Tammy Brooks, his former wife, and Velda Carroll, his former mother-in-law. He is survived by former in-laws Vicki Carroll Hejl and husband Brad Hejl and their daughter, Beverly; Kevin Carroll and wife, Jenny Simonette Caroll, and their daughters, Helena and Rebecca. He is also survived by cousins Lucy Wagner, Marian Wagner Cones and husband Paul Cones, and Sarah Wagner White of Houston; Martha Wagner Ramirez and husband Ysrael Ramirez of Corpus Christi; and Frank Wagner III of Brenham. He is also survived by cousins Barbara Lynch Spoonts of Temple, and Linda Lynch Brimmer and Carolyn Lynch Engel, of Fort Worth.

Services for Steven will be at Harper-Talasek Funeral Home, 500 W Barton Avnue, Temple, Texas, on Thursday, January 24, 2019, with Visitation beginning at 1 p.m., followed by the funeral at 2 p.m. Interment will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery, 1873 N. 1st St., Temple, Texas.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the American Diabetes Association, the Texas A&M Foundation, or to any charity of your choice.


Harper-Talasek Funeral Home
500 W. Barton Ave.
Temple, TX  76501
Thursday, January 24, 2019
1 - 2 pm


Harper-Talasek Funeral Home
500 W. Barton Ave.
Temple, TX  76501
Thursday, January 24, 2019
2 pm


Hillcrest Cemetery
Temple, TX

Memorial Contributions

American Diabetes Association
2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900
Arlington, VA

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