After a great 93 year run in life, our beloved Father, Grandpa, Uncle, Friend and WWII veteran James (Jim) Brooks passed away peacefully on Monday December 17, 2018. Born on April 29, 1925 in Hartshorne, Oklahoma, Dad grew up in Oklahoma and Missouri before moving to California in his teenage years. He got his first job at the Santa Paula Supermarket before he started his lifelong truck driving career. While still at the market the younger daughter of a regular customer caught his eye. Shortly after becoming a truck driver, he joined the army at the age of 18, and after basic training he landed on Utah beach in Normandy on June 8, 1944. He was wounded in battle on July 5th, then after a 4 month hospital stay he returned to fight in the Battle of the Bulge.
Discharged in 1946, he returned to Santa Paula and went back to work at Montalvo Rock Company, which later became SP Milling, where he worked as a member of Teamsters Local 186 until his retirement in 1987. After he returned from the war, he again found that lady that had caught his eye, Rita Carricaburu. Rita was the sister of his brother's wife MaryAnn. Dad and Mom got married and raised us five children, where we enjoyed the close relationship with our "double cousins." Yearly vacations were spent at Huntington Lake, Big Bear and at the Rincon. Weekends were spent at the pasture riding horses and teaching us kids how to drive at a young age, and having Sunday BBQs. After we were all grown, the marriage ended and Dad began a new chapter in his life. He enjoyed his cross country adventures with his brother Sheb to visit Granny in Missouri.
He then met Sue Mathwin, who became his wife and partner until she passed in 2009. To Sue's grandkids, Dad was Grandpa Jim. After 45 years as a truck driver, Dad retired and together with Sue they enjoyed RV trips with his family, the Crawfords, Clappertons and others, horseback riding, and golfing with Hoover and the gang. In 2002 & 2003, Dad even pulled off hole-in-ones at Mountain View Golf Course! Three of his biggest loves were his horses Sundown, Big Red and Gemini. His biggest joy was sitting out by the pool in the afternoons with his bourbon and cigar, visiting with friends and family, his Monday evening visits with Mike and Pam, and watching the grandkids swim. Dad was a hard working, loving but strict man, and is still remembered for the fear he would instill on the kids and their friends if he was woken up while sleeping when he worked nights, or when there was an accidental spill of milk at the dinner table. He instilled respect and a hard work ethic in all of us. Dad rode horses until he was 86 and drove his motorhome up until last year. He enjoyed great health until the last several months of this year.
Dad was preceded in death by his parents William and Effie Brooks, Sisters Thelma, Marie, Lorine, Pauline (Boots), and Vivian, Brothers Elvie and Sheb, and his wife Sue.
He is survived by his children Susan (Johnny Noble), Joyce, Janet (John Chisler), Jimmy (Kathy), and Roger, their mother Rita, 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren, his double nephew Ronnie (Debbie) and double niece Kathy (Greg Socia), and numerous other nieces and nephews. He is also survived by Sue's children Mike Mathwin (Pam), Bill Mathwin (Ronda), Doug Mathwin and Gena Mathwin and their children and grandchildren, who lovingly knew him as Grandpa Jim.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 8:00pm, Friday December 21st at Church of the Angels, 600 E. Pleasant St, Santa Paula.
Graveside service will be on Saturday December 22 at 11:00 a.m. at Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery. A celebration of Dad's life will be held after the service at the Mountain View Golf Course. We welcome all family and friends to join us.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of - OTTO &SON'S, CAMINO DEL SOL FUNERAL DIRECTORS & CREMATORY, OXNARD - (805) 483-3443