Marcus Wesley Brooks, of Leesburg, Va., passed away in his
90th year on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. He died peacefully at home with
Mark was born in North Sprague, Wash., on July 6, 1923, to Walter E. Brooks and Amy Barrett. He spent much of his youth working on his aunt Ella Mae Craig’s dairy farm in Deer Park, Wash.
He graduated from Spokane High School in 1941 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Sept. 28, 1942. Upon recruitment, he was selected by examination to become an electronics technician and received training in radar, sonar and radio in several locations around the country.
After final training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Mark was assigned to a newly built super destroyer, the USS DeHaven (DD-727) and traveled to Bath, Maine, to join as an original crew member or “plank owner” in the position of radio technician first class. The ship was commissioned on March 31, 1944, and he sailed aboard the DeHaven during her sea trials in and around Bermuda. In July 1944, the DeHaven sailed through the Panama Canal with the carrier Ranger for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She subsequently escorted carriers to Eniwetok atoll. In 1945, the DeHaven saw heavy action in Leyte, Luzon, Okinawa and mainland Japan downing six enemy planes, rescuing eleven American pilots, attacking and sinking three enemy ships and supporting troop landings with shore bombardment. The DeHaven was in Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremonies. Mark was discharged honorably on Jan. 13, 1946.
In 1947, Mark became a traveling electronic technician for the U.S. Weather Bureau. He traveled throughout the western United States and Pacific where he received his first commendation for repairing typhoon damage at Wake Island. From 1955 to 1957, Mark established and supervised a network of monitoring stations for the national hurricane research and International Geophysical Year (IGY) throughout the Caribbean and South America. During this time, he met Rosario Espinosa in Lima, Peru through mutual friends. They married in Lima on Nov. 4, 1957, and returned to live in the Washington, D.C., area.
He continued to work for the bureau for 35 years until his retirement in 1978 as chief of Overseas Operations engineering branch. In 1976, he was awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal for design, procurement and installation of wind-finding radars located in 15 countries around the world.
After his retirement from the government, he continued to work as an engineering consultant in the Middle East and Europe for several years. Mark was a licensed radio amateur and an active member of the DeHaven Sailors Association. A beloved husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather, he will be missed by all who knew and loved him for his kindness, sense of humor, wisdom and ability to unerringly forecast the weather.
He leaves his wife of 56 years, Rosario Brooks; two children, Rosario Streeter of Ashburn and Mark Brooks of West Windsor, N.J.; and five grandchildren.
The viewing will be held at the Colonial Funeral Home (www.colonialfuneralhome.com) in Leesburg, Va., from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday Jan. 19. A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Ashburn, Va. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Judes Children’s Hospital at www.stjudeorg.