Gerard “Jerry” Brooker — longtime chair of the Staples High School English Department, and an avid social justice advocate — died peacefully on New Year’s Day, surrounded by family. He was 84 years old, and lived in Bethel.
The Queens native earned a doctorate in education. He spent over 4 decades as an educator, the last 25 as chair at Staples.
His passions were children in need, and the promotion of peace. While at Staples, he was involved in hunger issues. In 1988 he led a student trip to Russia, which included meetings with counterparts there.
After retiring, Dr. Brooker continued his passion for education, traveling, and writing. He set foot on all 7 continents.
He also enjoyed watching nature, entertaining, being with family and friends, reading, and sharing his joy of life.
He was predeceased by his brothers Kenneth, Robert and Wallace, and sisters Joan and Gertrude, and infant Eileen. He is survived by his sister Eileen Olm (Bill); his wife Sheila; his children and their spouses Jessica (Jamie) Couture, Suzanne (David) Remington, Kevin (Jill), Jay (Jennifer) and David Brooker; 9 grandchildren, 2 great-granddaughters, and his beloved nieces and nephews.
Due to the pandemic, a celebration of life will be held at a later date.
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