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.
11 Condolences for Ross H. Brooks
I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved Ross. What a life well-lived. May your hearts be filled with memories of him and happy times. Holding you all in my thoughts.
Dearest Tim and Martha – Even though I did not have the opportunity to get to know Ross directly, I feel as though I knew him well through the both of you and the stories you shared throughout the years. The three of you are such pioneers in advancing the rights and enhancing the service delivery systems to gain greater quality in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. I know your engagement with all of us in the field brought the lens of lived experience to guide our direction and focus on what truly is important. I am so sorry for the impact of this loss and please know we love you very much. Prayers and thoughts are with you as you navigate the gravity this loss brings while celebrating Ross and what his life has brought to all of us.
How lucky Ross was to be part of your amazing family. The trips, the outings, the advocacy, the love you had for him, what a lucky guy he was. So sorry for you loss and we are sending love and hugs your way. Marc, Alison, Sydney, Carter, and Leeanna
Please know that the family of Mr. Ross Brooks has our deepest condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. I along with the Cares Enrichment Program here at Chimes only knew Ross for a short time but grew very fond of him because of his outgoing personality. We will miss his talks and many questions LOL. He was truly a gentle soul and we’re glad to have had the opportunity to know him. RIP Ross 🙏🏾
Wanda K. Goldsborough
I am sorry to hear of Ross’ passing. Thank you for entrusting Ross to be connected with services that helped him live his best life. Wishing comfort and peace to all that shared in his life. My most sincere condolences.
Wanda K. Goldsborough
Regional Program Director, NCC-W
Vivian J. Turner
Dear Tim and family,
I am so sorry to hear of the sudden passing of Ross. I enjoyed getting to know him through your stories and your advocacy. My sincere condolences to all of you.
Martha and Tim
so sorry to hear of your loss.
I have been very impressed with both of you in your advancement of causes for those with disabilities.
Some just talk the talk – you have truly walked the walk.
While you grieve your son, please remember how he helped you to empower many others in the abilities community
We all have been blessed by you and your son Ross.
May your entire family remember only the good times.
Louise Carbaugh R.N.
I wish to extend my sincere sympathy to the Brooks family for the passing of Ross. I had the privilege of knowing Ross and his family when I was working for DDDS many years ago. Ross was a very special young man and his family was so devoted to him always attending every care plan meeting, and including him in all family events like summer concert, vacations, etc. I was so impressed by their family spirit! I sincerely hope that the memories you shared as a family with Ross will be of comfort to you in the days ahead. It was a privilege to have known Ross, to have witnessed your devotion, and to have been a small part of his life. God bless you!🙏🏻💕
I am very sorry to hear about Ross’s passing. I remember him so well when I worked in the autistic program back in the 70s and 80s. Sending loving hugs and prayers to all🙏
Dear Martha and Tim,
My heart aches for you as you mourn the loss of your beloved Ross.
May your memories bring you comfort in this difficult time and provide a reminder of all the beautiful times and experiences you shared together. Let your love for Ross remind you of how deeply he was loved by so many. May your faith sustain you and guide you during your journey of grief.
May you find peace and strength in the days to come.
Martha and Tim
My condolences to all of you. Ross was lucky that he had you for all those years. I know that he loved to spend his weekends with you. His memories will live on forever with all of you. Better have a Newspaper at his memorial.