Imogene Brooks

Imogene Brooks, 89, of Newkirk, Okla., formerly of Arkansas City, died Friday afternoon, Oct. 25, 2019, at her home.

Cremation has been effected under the direction of Miller-Stahl Funeral Service.

The family is host to a memorial service at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, at Trinity Baptist Church, 1301 S. A St., in Arkansas City, with the Rev. Justin Pickup, chaplain of Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, officiating. Burial will take place at a later date in Newkirk Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in Imogene Brooks’ name and mailed to the Alzheimer’s Association, Suite 120, 6601 Broadway Ext., Oklahoma City, OK 73116.

The daughter of Elvin and Oma Elizabeth (Watkins) Clark, Imogene was born March 5, 1930, in Grenola. Because of her father’s work, the family moved several times, living in Cedar Vale, Dexter and Arkansas City, where she graduated from high school with the class of 1948.

After graduation, Imogene was employed at Graves Drug Store in Arkansas City, and later she worked for one of the doctors in the same town.

Imogene and Frank Dean Phillips married on Sept. 13, 1949, in Newkirk, Okla. They established their first home in Udall and later moved to Rock. Her husband’s work moved them to Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and California. The marriage ended in divorce. He died in a veterans home in 1987.

Imogene and Lovell “Chuck” Keithley married in 1977 in California. They made their home on the water at Rio Vista, Calif. They also helped her first husband when help was needed. The couple eventually moved to Arkansas City to enable Imogene to care for her mother. Chuck died in 1992.

While still in Arkansas City, Imogene met Aloysius “Lucky” Brister, and the couple married in 1995. They moved to Summit, Miss. Later, because of his health issues, they moved to California to be near his children. Lucky died in 2006.

Imogene returned to Arkansas City and married Roger Brooks. They made their home in Newkirk, Okla., until the marriage ended in divorce in April 2019. Roger died in September of the same year.

In addition to her employment with the drug store and the doctor, Imogene was employed as a nurses’ aide while living in Missouri. While in California, she worked in retail clothing and shoe stores.

Imogene was a member of Trinity Baptist Church of Arkansas City. She loved gardening, both flowers and vegetables. She had a special fondness for animals, especially her dog Pedro and cats, Tiger and Lillie, as well as her grandcat, Bubba. She had collected both ceramic and live chickens. Her daughters remembered when they lived on the farm, she called to the chickens, and they followed her in a line around the yard. Imogene enjoyed family time playing card games, dominos and board games. She excelled in cooking, and the entire family was always glad when Thanksgiving was at her house. Most of all, Imogene lived for her children. She was an avid reader and especially enjoyed reading her Bible, so much so that she wore out three. While they were young, the kids had no TV to watch. Instead, their mother introduced them to the library, where each one checked out three books. She read to them every day until they began to read themselves. They still read together and gained the same love of books their mother had. While they were young, Imogene took her children for walks, and when they passed an old, abandoned house, she would make up stories telling them all about the people who lived there, although she never knew the inhabitants. She also took them to visit the cemetery and made up stories about the people who rested there. One of Imogene’s daughters remembered the stories and said they made the people real, and she never had any fear of being in the cemetery while growing up.

In addition to her husbands, Imogene was preceded in death by a son, Roger Philips; her parents; her siblings, Arman Clark, Harold Clark, and an infant brother; a grandson, Joseph Phillips; and a nephew, Brian Clark, who died the same day as his aunt.

Imogene is survived by her children, Rhonda and Raymond House, of Newkirk, Okla., Cheryl Johnston, of Buffalo, Texas, and Robert and Crystal Phillips, of Modesto, Calif.; her siblings, Gerald and Etta Clark, and Geniece and Joe Gaston, all of Arkansas City, Jesse Clark, of Arkansas, and Richard and Marcella Clark, of Iowa; six grandchildren, Katherine Watts, Michael Johnston, Andrew Phillips, Nicholas Phillips, Nichole Phillips, and Robert Phillips Jr.; 11 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild and numerous nephews and nieces.

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