Melvin Raydell Brooks, of Cedar Rapids, passed away peacefully on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, at Crestview Care facility after a long illness. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday. Sept. 17, at Bethel AME Church, 512 Sixth St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, with the Rev. William Perkins officiating.
He was born in Iowa City, Iowa, on July 10, 1938. He lived in Rock Island, Ill., for more than 17 years before moving to Cedar Rapids, where he resided all of his adult life. In 1957, Mel married Constance (Rice) Hillsman. They later divorced. He was employed with Wilson Meat Packing Co., later renamed Farmstead, from the late 1950s until the mid-1980s.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin Brooks Sr. and Anna Doolin Brooks; his brothers, Eugene Brooks and Billy Joe Brooks (Audrey); son-in-law, Alfred Clark; and his companion of 20 years, Sue Kyle.
His immediate surviving family included his brothers, James Brooks and Paul Brooks, and Janet Brooks, sister-in-law. He is survived by daughters, Liz Brooks, Alicia Brooks, Laurel Clark, Theresa (Marc) Sturges and Susan (Ann Freeman) Brooks. He is survived by his large and loving host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends.
Mel enjoyed hunting and fishing, building bird houses and collecting and restoring past treasures. He loved spending time with his family and friends. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
The family would like to extend a special thank-you to Mel's friends, neighbors, past co-workers and the Crestview care staff.