Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 18, 2009
SUFFOLK – Eric Paul Brooks, 66, died June 17, 2009, in Suffolk.
Born in Fayetteville, W.V., he was the son of Eleanor S. Brooks Gregory, of Suffolk and the late Robert Morris Brooks. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Edith C. and Grover Brooks and Harriet and Emory Jennings Smith. Eric attended elementary school in Fayetteville, where he boxed in the Tri-State Golden Gloves welter weight division and was then appointed by Robert Byrd to the School of Page in Washington, D.C., where he served for three years. Eric worked for John F. Kennedy and served under future presidents Nixon and Johnson. His family came to Suffolk and in 1961 and he graduated from Suffolk High School, where he lettered in football.
In 1962, he started his photography career at the Suffolk Raceway and the Virginian-Pilot and freelanced for the Suffolk News-Herald and the Daily Press. He was affectionately known as “Flash.” For 40 years, he shot Class Winning photos for the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Ind., and currently was the track photographer for Langley Speedway. He was published in numerous magazines. He was president of the Virginia News Photographers Association for three years, where he won numerous awards for his photos. As a second career, he worked full time for Canon as a senior tech advisor and had taught photography at Tidewater Community College and Paul D. Camp Community College.
He was a member of Main Street United Methodist Church, the McLemore Bible Class and served as a lay speaker. When he was vice president of the Jaycees, he helped form the Christmas tree lot.
Besides his mother, he is survived by his wife, Annette Cross Brooks; son, Dodd Brooks and wife, Tracy S.; daughter, Kristine Cross Brooks, all of Suffolk; grandchildren, Jenna Lynn Brooks, of Atlanta, Ga., Chase Allan Brooks, Jared Kent Brooks, Sara Paige Brooks, all of Suffolk; brothers, Grover Emory Brooks and wife, Betty, Robert M. Brooks Jr. and wife, Jeannie; aunts, Marlene Purdue, of Ohio, Patty and husband, David Kent, of W.V.; several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be conducted Friday at 1 p.m. at the graveside in Holly Lawn Cemetery by the Rev. Robert J. Parks and the Rev. Tom Potter. The family will receive friends in the R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home & Crematory, 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk, Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 604 Constance Woods Drive, Suffolk, VA 23434. Condolences may be registered at www.rwbakerfh.com.