Pauline Decker Brooks
June 6, 1930 – June 21, 2020
Pauline Decker Brooks died peacefully in her sleep on June 21, 2020. Pauline was born on June 6, 1930 in Botetourt County, Virginia, the daughter of Carl and Mamie (Goad) Decker and the sister of Ralph and Imogene, all of whom predeceased her. She was married to Joseph E. Brooks for almost 50 years until his death in 2003. She is survived by her daughters, Denise Eareckson (and her husband, Michael) of St. Johnsbury, VT and Donna Brooks of West Hartford, CT; two granddogs; one grandcat; numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews; and many friends and neighbors that treated her like family.
Pauline valued education, making it her mission to go to college (Westhampton College at the University of Richmond, Class of 1953). She was a school teacher for over 20 years, mostly 4th grade. Incoming students feared getting “Mrs. Brooks” whose reputation for discipline and high standards in the classroom preceded her. By the end of the school year, many students appreciated the value she brought to their lives and would return in later years to let her know.
Pauline had a strong faith from a young age and often credited the church for getting her where she was going in life. Many of her life-long friends came from church. She spoke often of the importance of a church family, and, especially in recent years, the clergy and members of Grace Baptist Church in Richmond heeded the call to support her in many ways.
Pauline was a social butterfly. She often proclaimed “I like people.” She had more social engagements than anyone else we knew - season tickets to The Forum and play series, Open University of The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond, Woman's Club of Bon Air, Sassy Lassies, the Dumbarton School retirees group, the 9 hole golf group and many church activities, to name just a few. The pandemic surely crimped her style. She also put her social skills to work by tirelessly campaigning, including door-to-door visits, for her husband, Joe, who successfully ran for the Richmond City Council on a number of occasions in his “retirement.”
Pauline also had a love for music that she passed on to her daughters. She sang for many years in church choir. She would also make up operettas while and about doing laundry or taking care of other household chores, which she took seriously. The woman kept a clean house!
Pauline went out on a high note, having just celebrated her 90th birthday with a church-organized car parade and balloons and lots of birthday cards. She took special pleasure from the cards since so many of them affirmed her and her life. Perhaps she took that as the universe’s pat on the back for a job well done to turn the page to the next chapter.
In lieu of flowers, please make a special effort to be kind to someone and make a donation in her memory to a charity of your choice or to Children Incorporated, noting her name to continue support of her sponsored child. A virtual memorial service will be posted on the YouTube Channel of Grace Baptist Church of Richmond by July 25.
- Children Incorporated
Virtual Memorial Service
The YouTube Channel of Grace Baptist Church of Richmond www.youtube.com/channel/UChAd9AwM8gzX7Tc6_oT6jCw
Pauline Decker Brooks
July 3, 2020
Donna, Denise & Family,
I am sorry for your loss. You mother sounded like quite a person. It is my hope that with time, the sadness that you all feel will be replaced by wonderful memories of a life very well lived.
It is now evidently my job to keep an eye out for you Donna, to insure that you keep the faith, and stay on the right side of the law.
My pre-law and pre-med training stands ready to help.
And don't forget if you find a Ty Cobb baseball card who gets it.
Debbie Neal Scott
July 1, 2020
Sending our love from JB Neal, Debbie and Charlie Scott. We have so many memories of our good times with your mom and dad. Pauline sang in JB's choir for many years. Joe encouraged JB to get his real estate license. Which he did, but never got into the real estate business. JB helped make signs and distribute them for Joe during his campaigns. Your mom and dad gave Charlie and I our first engagement party at their home. I remember it like it was yesterday. Many good memories. Love to all of you from GA.