Joe Earl Brooks

Published 2:53 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Graveside Services were held Saturday, December 26, 2015 at the Slater Family Cemetery in Prentiss, MS for Mr. Joe Earl Brooks, age 79, who died December 21, 2015 at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee.

Joe was born in Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi April 29, 1936 to Ellen Slater Brooks Daniels and Neville Brooks who preceded him in death as did his brother Bobby L. Brooks.

Joe enjoyed a thirty year career in AT&T starting as a Craftsman before retiring as an Operations Manager. He was also involved in civic activities during this time, continuing past retirement as a member of the Williamson County Commission and the Williamson Medical Center Board of Trustees where he chaired the budget committee. He was instrumental in identifying and platting historic family cemeteries in Brentwood and Franklin, Tennessee. Joe was a longtime contributor to many philanthropic causes including Native American organizations, Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, the Civil War Trust, Save the Battlefield of Franklin, and was a proud Democrat.

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Joe’s interests were diverse. He was an avid gardener, old car aficionado, loved animals and nature and was a huge fan of B-Western movies and the original Carter family. That latter interest led to the creation of the J. E. Brooks Collection at East Tennessee State University which includes commercial recordings and associated printed materials of the original Carter family, A.P. Carter and family, as well as Maybelle Carter.

Joe was a kind, compassionate, generous person and had a keen sense of responsibility. Those who knew him were amazed at his ability to repair cars and practically everything else.

He is survived by sons James E. Brooks (Kristen) and Adam J. Brooks; sister Sandra Thomas; grandsons Jordan and Justin Brooks; former wife Virginia F. Brooks; best friend and caregiver Janice Spillman; and cousins, nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life memorial is planned for January in Middle Tennessee.

The family requests memorials be made in Joe’s memory to any of the following organizations:

Civil War Trust

P.O. Box 17686

Baltimore, MD 21297


Shriners Hospitals for


Processing Center

P.O. Box 1510

Ranson, WV  25438


American Indian Relief


P.O. Box 6200

Rapid City, SD  57709