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William Brooks


William (Bill) Hurbert Brooks III passed peacefully in his home in Ukiah Tuesday evening October 5, 2010, surrounded by his wife of 65 years Betty Brooks and the rest of his family including his daughter Bonnie Brooks and her husband Jim Strong, their children Steven, Stacey and Scott, his daughter Babbie Mayfield and her husband Jim Mayfield and their children James and Jillian. Bill was known throughout Mendocino County as the local Farm Advisor when he worked for the University of California Cooperative Extension or 37 years specializing in range management. Bill was born November 23, 1921 in Paola Kansas to William and Ruth Brooks. As a young child Bill's family moved to California where he later attended Colusa Union High School. Bill loved sports, music and adventure growing up. He often often entertained his family and friends telling tales of playing baseball running track and hopping freight trains to attend dances in nearby Sacramento. Bill served in the U.S. Air Corp as a navigator, Second Lieutenant during WWII. His keen wit and knowledge not only helped him gain his officer status but it once saved his bomber crew as the enemy had jammed the navigation instruments and Bill's ability to use the stars brought them back to their home airport after flying deep into enemy territory. In December of 1944 Bill married the girl that first turned his head in a school Library. While still in the service they were married when Betty met him at the military base in Caspar Wyoming. After the war Bill returned to finish his education at the University of California Davis where he did graduate work and received his degree in Agronomy. Bill was an active member of the AGR fraternity reuniting yearly with his fraternity brothers. Bill joined the University Extension office in 1948 and became County Director of Cooperative Extension in 1955. Bill visited almost every inch of Mendocino County helping local ranchers improve their rangelands. Bill agronomy contributions did not end in Mendocino County. His involvement in the American Society for Range Management brought him to many regions including the USSR in the early 1970's and he spent one year in Morocco with his wife Betty in the early 1980s where he worked to improve rangelands there. An active member of the Scottish Rite and the Ridgewood Masonic Lodge #146 F&AM; Bill also loved to hunt, fish, ski, play tennis, play bridge and go for long walks with his dog. Bill and Betty traveled the world. A passionate grandfather and sports fan he rarely missed a grandchild's event. He did all of these well into his 80s. When asked to speak during family gatherings, he would always end by saying"be of stout heart."



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