Francis Rodgers Brooks dies at age 89

Insurance executive and World War II veteran

July 29, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Francis Rodgers Brooks, a retired insurance executive and World War II veteran, died July 21 of heart failure at Mercy Ridge retirement community in Timonium. He was 89.

Mr. Brooks, the son of an insurance executive and a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised on Melrose Avenue and later in the 900 block of W. Lake Ave.

He was a varsity football and lacrosse player at Boys' Latin School, from which he graduated in 1939. He attended the Johns Hopkins University.

During World War II, he served as a sergeant with Gen. George S. Patton Jr.'s 3rd Army in Europe, and after the German surrender, was sent to the Pacific.

While in Sutton Coldfield, England, Mr. Brooks met Ruth Adelaide Sorensen, who was a master sergeant in the Women's Army Corps.

"He was so proud that she outranked him," said a daughter, Sutton Dischinger of Wiltondale.

The couple married in 1946 and moved to Roland Park.

Mr. Brooks went to work that year for Tongue Brooks and Co., an independent Baltimore insurance company that had been established by his grandfather in 1898.

Mr. Brooks rose to become a senior vice president and principal in the business. He retired in 1986.

He was a member of the Elkridge Club, Rotary Club and First Friday at Loyola College.

After retiring, Mr. Brooks purchased a summer home in Bethany Beach, Del., where he vacationed for the next 24 years. He enjoyed fishing and was an accomplished woodworker.

He also liked playing tennis and golf and had been a Colts season ticket holder for 30 years.

He was a communicant of the Roman Catholic Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday.

Also surviving are four other daughters, Mary Gill Lawson of Richmond, Va., Rebecca Scholz of Woodbrook, Lucy Miziolek of Lutherville and Frances Bolton of Ruxton; a brother, Harvey S. Brooks of Cape May, N.J.; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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