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In Loving Memory of Marie Brooks


Sunrise, August 30, 1936

Sunset, August 31, 2023

White Plains, New York Bellevue, Washington Marie Brooks passed away at her home in Bellevue, Washington, on August 31, 2023, just one day after celebrating her 87th birthday. Born August 30, 1936, in White Plains, New York, to Thomas and Emily (nee Norman) Howard, Marie was raised an only child. She graduated from White Plains High School and then earned her Bachelor’s degree at Western at Western Reserve College in Ohio; she earned her Master’s degree in Education at the College of the Allegheny in Pennsylvania. Marie moved to Seattle in 1960 to teach French and Spanish in the Seattle School District, where she and a colleague became the first Black women teachers at Wilson Junior High. She married Robert Brooks, also a teacher in the Seattle School District, and the couple had one daughter. Marie taught at Franklin High School in Seattle before going to work for the Bellevue School District, where she taught French and Spanish at Bellevue High until her retirement. She served a term as president of the Bellevue Education Association, the first Black woman to hold the position. After retiring from teaching, she worked as a mediator for the Seattle Education Association. A member of the Mount Zion Baptist Church family in Seattle for more than 60 years, Marie was part of the Harriet Tubman Circle, served on the trustee board, was a past president of the Women’s Ministry, sang in the Inspirational Choir, and served as parliamentarian at many a church meeting. A breast cancer survivor, herself, Marie was instrumental in helping to start the Mount Zion Cancer Support group. A true pillar of society, Marie never turned down an opportunity to serve and participated fully in the following organizations: Alpha Delta Kappa (ADK), Sigma Chapter, an international organization of women educators; Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc., Delta Upsilon Omega Chapter, where she served a term as Basileus and was honored as a Golden Soror; Central Area Seattle Senior Center, where she was a life member; 41st District Democrats, where she served as district parliamentarian; Democrats for Diversity and Inclusion, where she was a founding member, helped create the bylaws, and was the organization's parliamentarian; National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), Seattle Section, where she was a life member and a past president. Marie, was a strong, resilient woman whose faith in the Lord grew deeper through years of careful Bible study, ceaseless prayer, and Christian fellowship. Marie Brooks Obituary Page 1 of 2

  • She leaves to celebrate her life and legacy her daughter Renee Shields; son-in-law Bruce Shields; grandchildren Brittany, Bruce, and Brennan Shields; great-grandchildren Tyree, Auvi, Raquel, and May’ Lanii; many, many good friends; and plenty of acquaintances who no doubt wish they had known her better. Viewing will take place Friday, September 22, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Sunset Hills Funeral Home, 1215 145th Place SE, Bellevue, Washington. There will be a celebration of Marie’s life at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Avenue, Seattle, Washington, on Saturday, September 23, at 11:00 a.m. The service will be preceded by a viewing at 10:00 a.m.

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