Brooks celebrates 100 years

WOOLFORD – Really, she doesn’t look 100.

Moving around the hall of Milton United Methodist Church, Ann Brooks greeted the friends and family who had come from far and wide to wish her a happy birthday on Saturday. She seemed to be energized by the activity, though a much younger person might well have been exhausted by the activity and the hum of excited conversation.

But Ann — “Anna” to be official, but she usually drops the final “a” — has been known for quite a while as an active and involved person, qualities that have made her a treasured friend and community member for decades.

A lifelong Dorchester County resident, Ms. Brooks was born at Garden of Eden, now in Cambridge, in 1918. Ms. Brooks moved to Woolford in 1941.

This village has a special connection to her. “The Woolford Store was in the Brooks family for 60 years,” her daughter Sandy Sharpe said in the crowded hall.

Ms. Brooks was also postmaster there, beginning in 1964. “She did it for 18 years,” Stacy Brooks added.

Ms. Brooks contributed to her community further, through her support of the Church Creek Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. That was something the organization commemorated with a framed proclamation.

It said in part, “Be it hereby known to all that the Church Creek Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. offers its sincere congratulations to Anna Brooks in recognition of your 100th birthday and of the years of service to this fire company. The entire membership extends best wishes on this memorable occasion.”

Ms. Brooks also received a Certificate of Appreciation from Manager Post Operations – East Michele M. Curry. It said, “Congratulations on your 100th birthday! Your extended Postal family wishes you all the best on this milestone that few people reach. We would also like to thank you for your years of dedicated service to the Woolford community from 1964-1982, when you served as Postmaster. Please accept our fondest regards!”

She also volunteered for many years at the Eastern Shore Hospital Center’s A. May Thompson Shop. In fact, it wasn’t until a couple years ago that she stopped going there regularly, though she still stops by from time to time.

On Saturday, Ms. Brooks was pleased with the surprise party and the memories that came with it. She took it all in stride, with a hint of the modesty and humor that have endeared her to so many.

“I’m surprised they remembered me,” she said with a smile, surrounded by generations of her family and dozens of good friends.

There were good reasons to be remembered. Ms. Brooks legacy of caring has touched many.

“I always worked in the public,” she said. “Being in the Post Office, I always tried to help people.”

Beebe Winterbottom knew why Ms. Brooks is so well loved and remembered. “She’s the sweetest lady in the world,” she said.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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