Jane (Jan) Brougham Brooks was born on October 29, 1938 to Erwin Roy and Ann Powers Brougham in Joliet, IL. She passed away on August 5, 2019 at her home in Cary, NC.
Burial services at Oakridge Cemetery will be held on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 3:30PM with Mother Anne Schnaare of Trinity Episcopal Church officiating.
Jan grew up in Morris, IL, spending her early years immersed in piano, voice & horses. Her piano talent earned her a chance to compete at the famous Chicagoland Music Festival, where as a teenager, she performed in front of 50,000 people at Soldier Field.
Jan attended Michigan State University (MSU), graduating with a degree in Music. During her years at MSU, she was affiliated with the Chi Omega sorority. She was an enduring, spirited Spartan, committed to growing the MSU fan base wherever she went. She and her husband Charlie (a University of Michigan graduate) were instrumental in developing the Triangle Big 10 Club when they moved to North Carolina. She was also actively involved in the Triangle Area MSU Spartan alumni club.
After college, Jan dabbled in beauty pageants, primarily as a place to compete with her piano and voice talent. In 1961 she was crowned Miss Greater East Lansing. She then went on to win the Miss Michigan pageant, but declined the title to get married and was crowned Runner Up.
She married Charles Edwin Brooks on September 23, 1961. Jan and Charlie moved to Rockford, Illinois for 5 years then to historic Marshall, Michigan, Charlie's hometown. They lived in Marshall until moving to the Apex/Cary area in 1982. They were married for 34 years until Charlie's death in 1995.
Blessed with a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility, Jan worked up until the time of her death. She spent the bulk of her career in real estate, working for Sherman & Associates in Marshall and then with MacGregor Development and Lillian Smith-RE/MAX United in Cary for many years. The highlight of her career was her "encore" career, working part-time for the past decade at the Cary School of Music (CSM). Her lifelong love of music combined with being around kids and the loving CSM family made this a perfect last stop and place to give back.
Historic preservation was an enduring passion for Jan. She was a driving force behind the birth and development of the Marshall Historic Home Tour, the oldest historic home tour in the Great Lakes area. Now in its 56th year, the Marshall Historic Home Tour hosts thousands of people each year. It was an outcrop of a kitchen tour that Jan started with her mother-in-law. Jan and Charlie were honored with Lifetime Membership in the Marshall Historical Society. In 1981, they were recipients of the State of Michigan Governor's Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service.
She continued her pursuit for historic preservation when the family moved to Apex, NC. In 1987 she assembled a small group to talk about ways to preserve, protect and promote the history of the Apex area. The Apex Historical Society was born out of this small group, with Jan as Founding Member and first President. In 2012, she was awarded "Member for Life". After 32 years and up until the time of her death, she was still active on the Board and attending all Society events.
Jan is survived by her children; Thomas Wright Brooks (Jennifer), Tuscaloosa, AL and Anne Brooks Easter (Jon), Cary, NC; her grandchildren; Haven Ashleigh Brooks and Hollyn Grace Brooks, Charles Ayers Easter and Ben Powers Easter; and her brother Robert Powers Brougham (Linda), Black Hawk, CO. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Edwin Brooks; daughter, Katharine Craig Brooks; parents Mr. & Mrs. Erwin Roy "Bill" Brougham; sister, Beth Ann Brougham Sage and brother, William Powers Brougham.
Memorial gifts in Jan's honor may be made to the Apex Historical Society, the Cary School of Music or the charity of your choice.
OCT 4. 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM (EDT)
614 Homer Road
Marshall, MI, 49068
Luncheon Following Committal Services
OCT 4. 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM (EDT)
Schuler's Restaurant & Pub
115 S Eagle Street
Marshall, MI, 49068
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