Ralph Dunning Brooks, Jr., 89: Former Maine state senator

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Retired Army colonel and former Maine state senator, Ralph Dunning Brooks, Jr., 89, died at his daughter’s home Jan. 3 surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Mars Hill on April 5, 1920, he was a son of Ralph Sr. and Laura Luce Brooks.

In 1938 he graduated from Deering High School and attended the University of Southern Maine. He married the love of his life, Jacqueline Marie Lucas, in 1940.

At the onset of World War II, he enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army assigned to the Army Air Corps and rose through the ranks to retire as a Colonel in 1980.

He was stationed in the Pacific theatre during World War II and also served during the Korean War.

In 1952, he joined his father Ralph and brother Franklin in the family’s insurance firm, Ralph D. Brooks and Sons in Portland and served as president for 25 years. During that time he converted an old Commercial Street warehouse into office space, contributing to the revitalization of the Portland waterfront.

In 1961, he was elected to the state Senate and served for two terms. He also served as assistant majority leader and was instrumental in establishing the University Of Maine Law School in Portland.

He was involved in Yarmouth community organizations, serving on various boards and helping establish St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church in Yarmouth.

In 1975 he and his wife, Jacqueline, moved to Tucson, Ariz.

An exceptional husband and family man, he will be remembered for his service to his country, community and family.

His uncompromising ethical and moral character in business and politics inspired those who knew him.

He spent many wonderful times with his family sailing Casco Bay, skiing Sunday River and playing the links from Arizona to Maine to Washington.

He was predeceased by his loving wife of 44 years, Jacqueline Marie Lucas, his eldest son Ralph D. Brooks III and brother, Franklin L. Brooks.

Surviving are two daughters, Judith Ann Brooks and Kathleen Lucas Brooks of Tucson, Ariz., and son James Boynton Brooks and Patricia Crossland of Seattle; daughter-in-law, Nola Brooks Beaver of St. Mary’s, Ga.; four grandchildren, Karen Brooks Preble and Jon, and Lucas Edwin Brooks and Rachael of St. Mary’s, Ga., Brooks Thomas Kochvar and Rebecca of Manchester, N.H., Jacqueline Elizabeth  Piccini and Matthew of Belmont, Calif.; two great grandsons, Lucas Dunning Brooks and Samuel Dunning Preble of St. Mary’s, Ga.; sisters, Mary Elizabeth Doughty, Dorothy Young, and brothers, Robert J. Brooks and Edward A. Brooks.

Memorial services were held in Tucson, Ariz.

Burial and graveside services will be held this summer at Riverside Cemetery in Yarmouth.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Michaels and All Angels Church, 602 N. Wilmot Rd., Tucson, AZ  85711.