Dr. Arthur L. Brooks passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 28, 2016.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 62 years, Jean. Dr. Brooks
is survived by three children, Judy (Jerry) Cooper, Amy (Sandy) Hofstetter
and Scott (Cindy) Brooks, six grandchildren, Clint and Kellie (Smith)
Cooper, Jennifer (Gordon) and Brooks Hofstetter, and Westley and Emily
(Bray) Brooks, and seventeen great-grandchildren. He is also survived by
four of his siblings, Marion Teague, Jean Greene, Nancy Ortiz and Billy
Arthur Brooks led an extraordinary life of integrity and service. Born
October 21, 1924 in rural Montgomery County, Tennessee, he was the
oldest son in a family of nine children growing up in depression-era
America. Like so many of his generation, he answered the call to defend
his country during WWII, working as a medic for two tours of duty in the
Pacific theater. Once home, he attended Austin Peay State University,
graduating in three years, then on to Vanderbilt for medical school and a
residency in orthopedic surgery. After several years at the New Orleans
Charity Hospital and the Ocshner Clinic in New Orleans, he returned to
Nashville and Vanderbilt in 1963, where he trained scores of residents in
orthopedics over his career, twice serving as acting chairman of the
department. In addition, he was the chief of the Department of Orthopedics
at the VA hospital in Nashville from 1974 until his retirement in 1984. In
1985, Vanderbilt Medical Center dedicated the Arthur L. Brooks Center for
Education and Research in Orthopedics in his honor.
Dr. Brooks was a highly respected surgeon, clinician and teacher,
publishing professional articles and developing new surgical techniques
over his career. He was known as a demanding but excellent teacher,
earning the respect of those residents he shepherded into the profession.
He treated his residents as more than just students, lending an ear or
giving advice as needed, and every Saturday morning, he took them all to
breakfast at The Pancake Pantry. Dr. Brooks was a tireless advocate for
the patient, especially children. Before the advent of the Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt, he was an integral part of what was then called the Crippled
Children's Clinic, caring for thousands of young patients over the years. To
this day, former patients seek out the family, wanting to express gratitude to
Dr. Brooks for his care.
Arthur Brooks was revered and relied upon by his large extended family;
the one everyone turned to in time of need. Known as Uncle Leroy to his
dozens of nieces and nephews, his gracious home and farm were the site
of many happy gatherings over the years. He cherished his family and
celebrated each new addition, the most recent a great-grandson, named in
his honor. He and Jean traveled extensively, but he was always happiest
to be back home on his farm. He was a devoted husband to Jean, caring
for her during the final years of life as her health failed.
After an illustrious and distinguished medical career filled with honors and
accolades, after traveling the world over, the farm, Brookcliff, was where he
spent so many happy years of his retirement, planting large gardens,
raising cattle, and walking the fields, a farm boy once again.
Visitation will be held Saturday, July 30 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday,
July 31 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home. Funeral
services to follow at 2:00 p.m. Memorial gifts may be made to Alive
Hospice or the Arthur L. Brooks Center for Education and Research in
Orthopedics, Vanderbilt Orthopedic Institute, 1215 21st Avenue South,
Nashville, TN 37232-8774.