Ernie's earthly being left us peacefully on Nov. 23, 2019, after suffering with Alzheimer's the past five years. He was born May 24, 1936 in Canton, Ohio, to Wilson and Wanda Brooks. Following graduation from Timken High, Ernie proudly enlisted in the US Marines and served his country until 1957. He continued his education and graduated from Kent State University, then began his years of community service with the YMCA. Ernie relocated his family to Sun Prairie in 1971 where he focused his efforts on opening the Sun Prairie YMCA branch, even after retiring as Director he assisted in fundraising efforts for the current facility. He was a member of the SP Lion's Club and was a 2009 recipient of the Melvin Jones Award for his Dedicated Humanitarian Services. Ernie also served the community as Swim coach, volunteering at SP High football games, bike rodeos for kiddos, coaching additional youth sports teams, WIAA volleyball, and swimming official. His favorite hobby was fishing, assisting with creation of the Madison Muskie Club,he also enjoyed his Canadian fishing trips, hunting, camping, and clowning around with his numerous friends.
Ernie is survived by his caring daughter, Kathy Janssen, her family Jim, Scott (Shannon) and Jaime; three sons, Mike, Bill and David; other grandchildren, great-grandchildren; sisters Helen and Pat (close brother in law George), one niece, nephews, and close friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Jean, his parents, brother in law Hank. Ernie's last giving act was of his body to the UW Body Donation program so that others may continue to learn.
A celebration gathering will be held at the NORTHEAST YMCA, 1470 Don Simon Drive, Sun Prairie, on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Erwin Brooks to support Youth Programs at YMCADane.org; SP Lions' Club, or a Veterans Program of your choice.
Much appreciation goes to Dr. Mike Aughey and to the staff at Faith Living for Ernie's care in recent years.
I love you dad and will miss our visits and holding your hand-Tink.
"Dear Kathy and Jim,
So sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. He was such a nice man, and did much to improve the life for kids in Sun Prairie. I remember playing dodge ball with and other kids at the Northside School gym --- he was so much fun!. I remember too helping him set up the pool behind the old YMCA on Main Street in the early 70's --- your dad was a hard worker and very kind person. I especially liked the movie nights he set up at the old YMCA --- we could sit around eat popcorn and watch a movie. Your Dad gave me many happy memories during childhood and will be sorely missed by all. May God bless you during this difficult time.
"Already a week dad, I've missed our time already. So thankful you didn't suffer...till we meet again. Love you."