MANCHESTER, Vt. — A. Brooks Brown of Manchester, Vt., died suddenly Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, at the age of 66.
Brooks was born May 27, 1947, in San Antonio, Texas, to Eleanor Brooks Brown and David Bryce Martin. Dr. William K. Brown, having married Brooks’ mother in January 1952, subsequently adopted him.
Brooks grew up in Houston. He attended Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin and graduated from Memorial
Senior High School in Houston in 1966. He attended Tarkio College and University of Oklahoma, where we was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
In 1968, Brooks moved to Aspen, Colo., learned to ski and became a ski instructor. He continued to work within the ski industry, moving to Vermont in the late 1970s, as a representative for an equipment manufacturer. Shortly after his arrival in Vermont, the seed was planted for WEQX, the radio station he created, owned and operated for 29 years.
Without realizing it, Brooks was introduced to his life’s work in 1959 when his third-grade teacher, a World War II Army Signal Corps veteran, showed him how to use and old-fashioned telegraph key to transmit messages from one place to another. Soon after he joined the Ham Radio Club, learned Morse code, and built a HeathKit short wave radio, which he used to communicate with others around the globe. Brooks’ first job in radio was with KIVY in Crockett, Texas, as an overnight DJ. He returned to the Northeast, working in sales for KPYX in Albany, N.Y., and learned all aspects of the business.
In 1984, after years of hard work, WEQX signed On-Air with Linda Clifford’s version of “If My Friends Could See Me Now”. For the past 29 years, under Brooks’ leadership, WEQX earned the reputation as one of the finest radio stations in the country. Both he and the radio station have received numerous honors along the way, including three awards as Rolling Stone’s “Best Radio Station of the Year.” Brooks was inducted into the Vermont Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 2005. WEQX is one of the few remaining independent radio stations in the country and, for decades, has been impacting both the local and national music scenes.
Brooks married his loving wife, Melinda Ann Bell on July 26, 1997. His stepson Sean Stephen Wood Cornell predeceased him.
He is survived by his beloved Mimi as well as his parents in Houston; his sons, Stephenson Brown of Manchester, Trueheart Brown and his wife, Laura, of Flagstaff, Ariz.; and his granddaughter, Cedar. His brother, Philip Brown of Houston and his sister, Polly Brown Davies, of Austin also survive him. In addition, he leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and an uncle.
A memorial celebration of Brooks’ life will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at the family’s home in Manchester, Vt.
The Brown family requests, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to ASPCA or your local animal shelter.