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Leonard H. Brooks, 86, died April 6, 2005, in Surprise, Ariz. He was born September 26, 1918, in Tucson, Ariz., to Leonard and Elisabeth (Adams) Brooks Sr.
As a child, he spent two years living in Mexico and learned to speak Spanish. As a young teenager, he spent a summer living with the Apache Indians and learned the art of bow and arrow making and shooting. After graduating from high school he worked as a cowboy and as a powder man in the mines.
During World War II, he was a bomber pilot flying B-25s over Italy. While serving in the Army, he married Dorothy Custis and they had two children, Bamey and Penny. He loved to racehorses, so on his way home from the war he bought his first quarter horse and moved his family to Yoncalla, where he, his father and brother owned a ranch and a small sawmill operation.
In 1955 he moved his family to Enterprise. In the late sixties, he divorced and then moved to Alaska in the early seventies. In Alaska, he hunted big game with both rifle and bow and arrow. He loved camping, photography, flying and meeting the many challenges of the Alaskan wilderness. He owned several bush planes while in Alaska. He also enjoyed writing and had several bow hunting articles published.
In 1977, he went to the Philippines and married his wife Luisa. They lived in Chugiak, Alaska, until he retired as a civil service employee with the Department of the Army in Fort Richardson, Alaska.
They moved to Copper Center, Alaska, where he, with the help of his friends, Dick and June Halverson, built a log house facing the beautiful Wrangell/St Bias Range. In 2003, the couple moved to Arizona.
Mr. Brooks was preceded in death by his first wife Dorothy, brother Bob and sisters Betty Shatter and Pat Martin. He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Luisa; son Barney; daughter-in-law Gail; grandsons Tyson and Gavin Brooks of Forest Grove; daughter Penny Johnson and son-in-law Matt of Pendleton; and numerous other relatives.
His ashes will be spread over the Wrangell Mountains in Alaska this summer.
Wallowa County Chieftain, Obituaries, Thursday, April 28, 2005
Contributed By: Sue Wells