Dr. Arthur Leroy Brooks

Born in Hampton Station, Tennessee on October 21, 1924

Departed on July 28, 2016 and resided in Kingston Springs, Tennessee

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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.


2 Comments to Dr. Arthur Leroy Brooks

  1. Tina (White) Melton
    July 29, 2016 6:24 pm

    My name is Tina Melton, daughter of Evelyn Brooks, Dr. Brooks’ youngest sister. I am one of the nieces that called him “Uncle Leroy”. I have so many memories of being on the farm riding horses, family picnics, and swimming in the bend of the Harpeth River behind Brookcliff. My mother adored her oldest brother until she died 5 years ago this past March. I cannot tell you how many times she told us how much she looked up to him and would often cry when she talked about what a wonderful caring man and physician he was. He could be compassionate, caring, and gruff at the same time which tells you just how special he was. He led the kind of life so many aspire to live. Loving the Lord, his wife (Aunt Jean one of the classiest ladies I ever met), his children, family, friends, and patients. He will be greatly missed, but I am happy he is feeling no pain and walking the streets of gold with my mother whom I’m sure gave him a huge smile and a big hug at the gates of Heaven. Hugs and prayers to all the family.

  2. Mike Milek,MD
    July 31, 2016 11:53 am

    Very simple; Dr Art Brooks was one of the greatest men I’ve ever met. He was my mentor and later my senior partner. You never wanted to let him down. And certainly never get the “Brooks Look” which said, I’m not giving up on you but you have a long way to go, so tighten up the screws .

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