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Schimunek Funeral Home

610 W MacPhail Rd, Bel Air, MD

OBITUARY

Nikki Lynn Brooks-Burnett

December 17, 1961August 5, 2019
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Nikki Lynn Brooks-Burnett, age 57, of Fallston, Maryland, passed away on August 5, 2019. She was born on December 17, 1961, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, to Lois Brooks (née Farland) and the late Robert Brooks. She earned two Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Maryland and dedicated 30 years of her career to the State of Maryland Park Service as a Park Ranger. She finished her career at Rocks State Park, retiring in 2017.

Nikki is survived by her husband of 34 years, Gary Burnett; their sons, Geoffrey Micheal and Jeremy Brooks; and by her mother, Lois Brooks, all of Fallston, Maryland. Family and friends will be received at Schimunek Funeral Home, 610 W. MacPhail Road, Bel Air, MD, 21014. Viewing and visitation will be Friday, August 9, 2019, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Saturday, August 10, 2019, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Internment will be in Lyndonville, Vermont. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association at act.alz.org.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, August 9, 2019
  • Visitation Saturday, August 10, 2019

Memories

Nikki Lynn Brooks-Burnett

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Charles “Chilly” Simmons

August 20, 2019

Burnett family,

I received the news after the service, and I must say that I am truly devastated. I can only imagine what you are feeling right now, as unexpected as this is. Burnett family, you are and will be in our prayers during and after your time of bereavement. It will not be easy, missing Nikki, but it will get easier as God strengthens you. Nikki always greeted me with a smile and a Godly hug, and then conversation about current issues, whether family, politics, or DNR, and lots of laughter and food for thought. You are missed, Nikki, and looking forward to meeting up again and catching up! Burnett family, may the Lord God continually comfort and keep you, and let Heaven smile upon you all.

Harlan Bailey I

August 12, 2019

I had the privilege of starting my Park Ranger career around the same time as Nikki. I can recall the first time I met her at Ranger School. She was the young woman with all the answers and new how everything was supposed to go. Wow, just so like Nikki. Yes, and the majority of the time she was right. Nikki was one of the most kind, brilliant, and humorous person’s I’ve ever met.

While I have too many humorous stories to tell of our time patrolling together joyfully crammed in the truck with Bill Longley at Gunpowder Falls State Park, I can say, heaven has now taken back a loving and caring soul who fought for women’s rights and human decency. I do have a suspicion that Nikki came and landed with sufficient impact.

Gary, Geoffrey, and Jeremy. Do know how much Nikki loved each of her men? Believe me, she always bragged on each of you, daily, to be exact. While it hurts to know that Nikki is no longer with us here on this earth, I can imagine her now even asking God, can you make sure they carry on being the men you’ve called them to be. In God’s due time and strength, you will.

Do know that God is near, he promised never to leave us nor forsake us. May He wrap you in His loving arms in this season and in the days ahead with his peace and strength.

You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Love & Condolences
Rev. (Ranger) Harlan L. Bailey I & Corliss Bailey

John and Betty Anthony

August 11, 2019

Our memories of Nikki extend back to meeting her as a new member of the Park Service, and being impressed immediately by the "air" of confidence, professionalism, and yet humility and friendliness that surrounded her. It took very little time for us to realize that she and Gary represented the " finest of people " that anyone could possibly know. We are devastated by her passing. Gary and sons , we extend our deepest sympathy and our most fervent prayers for your comfort and peace in the days ahead.

Michelle Long

August 10, 2019

I knew Nikki for a short time in the 90’s. I came to the Park Service as a college intern and stayed about 10 yrs. When I first met Nikki I was a little intimidated. However, after one conversation, that intimidation turned to respect. She was an amazing example of how to carry yourself respectfully, in a male dominated profession. Her and Gary modeled professionalism, while being fun and down to Earth. I received a text this afternoon about Nikki’s passing and it stopped me in my tracks. Even though she is only 7 yrs older than me, when I was 20, she seemed like she had it all... great husband, career and starting her family. Thanks for being an example for me. God bless you Nikki.

Kathy Callahan

August 10, 2019

Dearest Gary and family,

I am keeping all of you close in my heart as I fondly remember Nikki.

The tall, beautiful, clever, approachable, and very confident Nikki Brooks was my first friend at Baltimore’s Western High School. I met her at freshman orientation and from that day on was seated behind her (and her big soft afro) whenever alphabetical order was the rule. She was an ace at finishing homework before and during school, sitting by lockers on the lowest level. I remember envying her lunches of yummy leftovers wrapped in foil - her Mom’s bbq chicken or ribs - as the rest of us ate boring sandwiches. Through Nikki I met her friend, Erica Barditch at WHS, a gentle intelligent soul. (So hard to believe both have left us so soon.)

Nikki was always up for an adventure. We lived on opposite sides of the city and saw each other at school initially. When she became a driver, almost a year ahead of me, her blue Renault took us all over — and away from school! Most times it started by the second or third try.

During college we were ACC rivals and she taught me the Terps’ chants that mocked my beloved Blue Devils.

I loved that she was a park ranger and enjoyed hearing stories of what she encountered in the parks. One has me giggling now as I think of her telling about carefully selecting wording for her written report. I think of the countless people whose lives were enriched by her work and passion for nature. What she did mattered!

While my career kept me out of Maryland, I was always grateful to meet up with Nikki when I came back to town. What a joy to see her so happy with you, Gary, and then with “all her boys” as she would describe her family in Christmas cards

I’m so grateful that she came to the class reunion in 2017 so we could meet up again. Thank you so much, Gary.

May our memories of her comfort you. I extend my love and deepest sympathies.

Kathy Callahan
WHS ‘80

Ruth Ann Hoffman

August 10, 2019

Nikki you were a dear friend and I will never forget you! GOD comfort you Gary and your sons and give you all the strength to get through your loss!! My thoughts and prayers are with you!
Ruth Ann Hoffman

Lisa Murdock

August 9, 2019

Nikki and Gary, and the boys, were our living examples of how wonderful scouting could be for our whole family! Gary was my oldest’s Den Leader in Pack 899. Then when Gary became Cub Master, Nikki stepped right in to take over as the Den Leader. They sparked my love of scouting as a parent and future leader, as well as both my sons love of scouting. Nikki had a beautiful smile, and I adored her wit and humor. I looked forward to the Christmas letter every year.

Gary, Geoffrey and Jeremy, we are so sorry for your loss. Nikki was a very special woman. We wrap you all in our arms in prayers.

Lisa, Tim, Josh and Jake Murdock

April Havens

August 9, 2019

Gary and family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Ranger Nikki will be missed. Godspeed.

Frank Ryan

August 9, 2019

God speed Nikki you always brought an atmosphere of energy to the the Park Service Family. Always a beautiful smile, always an energetic hug. We always knew where you stood on life.

Best regards to your family, Gary has always been a great Ranger ,supervisor and father. You've left a lasting legacy with all those you came in touch with. Thanks for your Service!!

Al Preston

August 9, 2019

My deepest condolences to Gary and the family on the passing of Nikki. I was so shocked to hear of her untimely passing. Nikki will certainly be missed.

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