Ross H. Brooks
March 23, 1965 - February 13, 2023
It is with great sadness that Tim, Martha, Jason and Ben Brooks announce the passing of their son and brother, Ross H. Brooks, age 57, of Newark, DE, after a severe stroke on Monday, February 13, 2023.
Born in Tacoma, WA on March 23, 1965, Ross was a pioneer in the special education world. He first met his family as a five-year-old in a foster home in the state of Washington. Ross was recruited for a new special education program designed for children who had been excluded from school, prior to the passage of federal legislation mandating “free, appropriate, public education for all children”. Although severely disabled from birth, Ross was an adorable child who had a way of winning the hearts of the people who had the opportunity to know him. He was officially adopted into the Brooks family in August of 1972. He moved with his growing family to Oregon, Maine and eventually to Delaware in 1979 where he lived ever since.
Ross attended the Delaware Autism Program and the Wallace Wallin School where he graduated in June of 1986. Since graduation Ross participated in day programs. He spent many years at Delaware Elwyn until it closed during the pandemic. He recently started at the Chimes program in Newark. Ross moved into a supervised living environment in 1988 and has spent most of the years since in apartments managed by KenCrest.
During all these years, Ross spent many weekends, vacations and holidays with his family. He spent several weeks at various beaches along the east coast, went to many ball games (Ross loved sports of all kinds) and visited a long list of favorite restaurants! He loved to play “concentration” and work on his iPad.
Ross and his family have received excellent support from both residential and day program staff. They are also grateful for the support from the Delaware Division of Developmental Disability Services. Later on, when he was living in supported housing, he was helped out by a number of support professionals. His family wants to especially recognize Dawn, Joanne, and Rachel for all of their love and care for Ross over many years. Also, the family would like to thank the staff of both Elwyn and Chimes for supporting Ross in his day programs. A special thanks goes out to Curtis, who was his friend and current apartment mate. Finally we thank the incredible staff at Christiana Care in Newark for the care and support they gave Ross and his family during his final days.
Ross is survived by his parents, Martha and Tim Brooks; siblings, Jason (Melissa) and Benjamin (Sally); and nieces and nephews, Natalie, Charlie, Brian, and Max.
A celebration of life will be held from 3 pm until 5 pm on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, 400 David Hollowell Drive, Newark, DE 19716.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ross’s memory to a charity of the donor’s choice that supports people with disabilities.