Life Story Visitation
Sunday, March 13, 2022
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Please join us for a Life Story Visitation where food, refreshments, and stories will be shared.
Life Story Service
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A lover of all people, anyone that knew Tom Brooks would surely call him a friend as anyone he ever met was made to feel special. He wanted nothing more than happiness for those around him. Selflessly giving of both his time and resources, Tom lived a life of modeling generosity toward others. Born with a strong work ethic, it was not uncommon for him to come home from a long day of work and spend additional time planning for the next day. There is no doubt that he will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his many special friends and loved ones.
It is completely fitting that Tom arrived in the 1960s which was known as the era of optimism. At the beginning of this promising decade in our nation’s history, Ted and Mary (Henry) Brooks welcomed home their newborn son, Thomas, on November 14, 1960, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His birth gave his parents much hope and happiness.
As a young kid, Tom loved to keep active. He started his passion for collecting baseball cards from an early age with the packs that included gum inside. By the time he was an adult, he was holding his own trading shows in local rental halls. As a teen, he loved hanging out with his good buddies who worked at the West Main Mall arcade. They would set the games to the free play setting and spend hours attempting their highest scores. Tom also fell in love with classic cars during his teen years. It all started with a truck that he bought from his brother and later led to a large collection of cars into his adult years. He loved restoring them as well as attending car shows and picking up his friends for joyrides around town. Extroverted and well-liked, Tom had a wide variety of many friends from his growing years. There was never a dull moment when he was around!
He met the woman of his dreams, Anita Heidi Lester, when she was the tender age of fourteen years old. She was working at the pretzel shop in the West Main Mall and they struck up a conversation. He always asked for extra cheese, and she gladly obliged as she was equally attracted to his cheerful demeanor. They eventually started dating and the rest was history! Happily married for thirty-two years, they continued dating and enjoying nights out at Carrabba’s, Olive Garden, and their personal favorite, Zeb’s. As a couple, they enjoyed tent camping together. Normally they would camp in Covert or on his aunt’s property along the Hardy Dam. Beach lovers, Tom and Heidi loved to walk the Lake Michigan shoreline in South Haven. He always enjoyed stopping along the way and talking to visitors on the beach. The two of them shared many wonderful memories together.
His solid work ethic made him a strong provider over the years. He worked servicing residential pools for a remarkable forty-three years. Clients and customers knew that their pool was in good hands and their property would look even better than they left it! Tom always paid close attention to servicing parts and cleaning up the area for them to enjoy all summer! Customers always appreciated him going the extra mile and knew he gave the most reasonably priced service in the area. Tom loved supporting others through his many small acts of kindness. He was known to stop off to pick up donuts or treats for friends and family whenever he was out around town. When it came to his work as well as his relationships, he always put forth his personal best to please others.
Tom lived his life to the fullest enjoying the simple things in life. He enjoyed hosting his sports memorabilia shows trading cards, hats, and baseballs. He loved the tradition of sharing Lions’ pre-game brunches on Sundays with his buddies as well as serving his famous homemade T-Willie chili before every Bears vs. Lions football game. Despite the occasional teasing from his friends and family, he loved to save money by allowing his truck to coast better than a skateboard around town! Tom never let things bother him. He thoroughly enjoyed life, especially people. A loyal friend, his sincere compassion for others will be deeply missed. Known as “Tom the Pool Man,” Tom, Brooky, or Tbaba, he leaves behind countless memories of good times. He was always smiling, joking, and approaching each day with optimism. May his many friends and family hold his memories dear and fondly reflect on the many ways he shared his love with each and every one of them.
Thomas Brooks, age 61, of Kalamazoo, MI, died on March 6, 2022. Tom was born November 14, 1960, in Kalamazoo to Ted and Mary (Henry) Brooks. Tom was preceded in death by his parents; and brother-in-law, Stewart Squires. Surviving are his wife, Anita Heidi Lester; siblings: Bablyn Brooks and Theodore (Leslie) Brooks II; nieces: Katelynn and Marissa Squires and Ashley (Jeremy) Hall; and 2 great-nephews: Charles and Anders. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, refreshments, and stories will be shared on Sunday (MAR 13) 3-5 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. A Life Story Service will be held Monday (MAR 14) at 11 AM, also at the funeral home. Visit Tom’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.