Jane "Jan" Brougham Brooks
October 29, 1938 – August 5, 2019
CARY - Jane (Jan) Brougham Brooks was born on October 29, 1938 to Erwin Roy and Ann Powers Brougham in Joliet, IL. She passed away on August 5, 2019 at her home in Cary, NC. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 11:00 am at Hope Community Church, 821 Buck Jones Road, Raleigh, NC. A reception will follow. Burial service will be held at a later date in Marshall, MI.
Jan grew up in Morris, IL, spending her early years immersed in piano, voice and horses. Her piano talent earned her a chance to compete at the famous Chicagoland Music Festival, where, as a teenager, she performed in front of 50,000 people at Soldier Field.
Jan attended Michigan State University (MSU), graduating with a degree in Music. During her years at MSU, she was affiliated with the Chi Omega sorority. She was an enduring, spirited Spartan, committed to growing the MSU fan base wherever she went. She and her husband Charlie (a University of Michigan graduate) were instrumental in developing the Triangle Big 10 Club when they moved to North Carolina. She was also actively involved in the Triangle Area Spartans alumni club.
After college, Jan dabbled in beauty pageants, primarily as a place to compete with her piano and voice talent. In 1961 she was crowned Miss Greater East Lansing. She then went on to win the Miss Michigan pageant, but declined the title to get married, and was crowned Runner Up.
She married Charles Edwin Brooks on September 23, 1961. Jan and Charlie moved to Rockford, Illinois for 5 years, then to historic Marshall, MI, Charlie’s hometown. They lived in Marshall until moving to Apex, NC in 1982. They were married for 34 years until Charlie’s death in 1995.
Blessed with a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility, Jan worked until the time of her passing. She spent the bulk of her career in real estate, working for Sherman & Associates in Marshall and then with MacGregor Realty and Lillian Smith RE/MAX United in Cary for many years. The highlight of her career was her “encore” career, working over the past decade as “the boss” at the Cary School of Music (CSM). Her lifelong love of music combined with being around kids and the loving CSM family made this a perfect last stop and place to give back.
Historic preservation was an enduring passion for Jan. She was a driving force behind the birth and development of the Marshall Historic Home Tour, the oldest historic home tour in the Great Lakes area. Now in its 56th year, the Marshall Historic Home Tour hosts thousands of people each year. It was an outcrop of a kitchen tour that Jan started with her mother-in-law. Jan and Charlie were honored with Lifetime Membership in the Marshall Historical Society. In 1981, they were recipients of the State of Michigan Governor’s Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service.
She continued her pursuit for historic preservation when the family moved to Apex, NC. In 1987 she assembled a small group to explore ways to preserve, protect and promote the history of the Apex area. The Apex Historical Society was born out of this small group, with Jan as Founding Member and first President. She served many terms as President. In 2012, she was awarded “Member for Life”. After 32 years and up until the time of her passing, she was still active on the Board and attending all Society events.
Jan’s faith was an important part of her life. She and her family were very active in the First Presbyterian Church in Morris, IL. When Jan and Charlie moved to Marshall, MI, Trinity Episcopal Church became their church home. For the past 10 years, Jan was attending Hope Community Church, Raleigh, NC.
Jan is survived by her children, Thomas Wright Brooks (Jennifer), Tuscaloosa, AL and Anne Brooks Easter (Jon), Cary, NC; her grandchildren, Haven Ashleigh Brooks, Hollyn Grace Brooks, Charles Ayers Easter and Ben Powers Easter; and her brother Robert Powers Brougham (Linda), Black Hawk, CO. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Edwin Brooks; daughter, Katharine Craig Brooks; parents Mr. & Mrs. Erwin Roy “Bill” Brougham; sister, Beth Ann Brougham Sage and brother, William Powers Brougham.
Memorial gifts in Jan’s honor may be made to the Apex Historical Society, PO Box 506, Apex, NC 27502, ATTN: John Messler, Treasurer.
Apex Historical Society
ATTN: John Messler, Treasurer PO Box 506 , Apex, NC 27502
A Celebration of Life Service
Hope Community Church- Raleigh
821 Buck Jones Rd
Jane "Jan" Brougham Brooks
August 16, 2019
Tom, Anne & family. Was very sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. This one hits hard. Jan was like a second mother to me during my time living in Atlanta. I loved her gentle demeanor, her laugh and her love of sports, family and dogs. My kinda gal! And reading her full obituary...wow...what a life well-lived! Will be thinking of you all this weekend. So very sorry I couldn't attend her service.
August 15, 2019
I did not know Mrs. Brooks, but I do know her daughter Anne and son-in-law Jon, and send my sincerest condolences on her untimely passing. I wish Anne, Jon, and family all comfort at this very sorrowful time.
August 15, 2019
Anne & family,
Thinking of you all at this difficult time.
We will fondly remember Jan in the stands at her grandson's baseball games cheering them on with great pride! There was no doubt as to who her grandson's were at those games. Always a delightful person to be around, she will be missed. Sending love & prayers.
The Morgan Family