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Charles Walter “Charlie” Brooks, 72, of Baker City, died Nov. 15, 2005, at his home.
His graveside memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at the Richland Grange Hall.
Charlie was born on June 13, 1933, at Richland to Paul and Olga Miller Brooks. He was raised at Richland, graduating from high school there in May of 1951. After graduation, Charlie went to work for his uncle Eagle Bennehoff, on his ranches at Halfway and Richland.
In 1953, he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served most of his time in Germany and France. His job was transporting troops and pilots. He was discharged in 1955.
Charlie went to work for the Morrison-Knudsen Co. in 1956 at the Brownlee Dam and worked on the highway from Richland to Halfway in 1957. It was during this time that he met his “true love,” Mary Lee Fitchett. They were married in September of 1958 at the Christian Church in Richland. They had two boys, Donald and Clyde.
He then went to work for Standard Oil for six years driving tanker truck delivering fuel. Next he purchased the Bennehoff Dairy from his uncle Eagle and operated it with his family for 14 years.
They had the first Grade A Dairy in Richland. They sold it in 1978. Charlie worked a few years for farm implement dealers in Baker City, four years for the Baker County Road Department operating a road grader, one year hauling mail to Salt Lake City and three summers working on a road crew.
In 1991 Charlie enjoyed working with a contractor building the family’s new home in Baker City. He swore that they would never do it again. It’s amazing what you can agree to disagree on!
During Charlie’s life, he enjoyed packing up into the high mountains, hunting and fishing, playing cards with his family and friends, watching his grandson, Cooper, play sports and watching bull riding and sports on TV.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Lee of Baker City; sons and wives, Clyde and Melody Brooks of Baker City and Donald and Judi Brooks of Dayton, Wash.; his mother, Olga Brooks of Baker City; brothers and wives, Stanley and LaRue Brooks of Richland and Dwight and Donna Brooks of Union; grandchildren, Cooper, Kody, Jessica, Rachelle and Scott; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Paul Brooks.
Memorial contributions may made to the Eagle Valley Ambulance or the Eagle Valley Cemetery through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: Baker City, Herald, November 18, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor