Daniel Lee Brooks, age 66, of Sauk Centre, Minn., died Thursday, June 25, 2020, peacefully at his home surrounded by his loved ones after a courageous battle with cancer.
A private, family service will be held Monday, June 29, 2020, and a public service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 30, at the Sauk Centre High School football field. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Tuesday.
Dan was born April 12, 1954, at St. Francis Hospital in Crookston, Minn., the second son of Lawrence Darwin and Lois Lorraine (Lund) Brooks.
Dan was raised with his many siblings on Crookston’s south side, and attended high school at Crookston Public High School, where he was active in sports and academic clubs. Dan also achieved the prestigious rank of Eagle in the Boy Scouts of America.
Dan graduated high school in 1972 and went on to earn two bachelor’s degrees in business education and business administration from Bemidji State University in 1976.
While in college, Dan met the love of his life and lifelong best friend, Teri, whom he married in Bloomington, Minn., on May 31, 1975.
After graduating from Bemidji State, Dan took a job teaching business and photography classes at Laporte (Minn.) Public Schools. While continuing to teach, Dan went back to school to earn two master’s degrees, a master’s of science in education from St. Cloud (Minn.) State University and a master’s of science in business education from Bemidji State University, graduating from both programs in 1983.
After receiving his master’s degrees, he became the superintendent for Laporte Public Schools, where he served from 1983 to 1993.
On March 3, 1980, Dan and Teri welcomed their daughter, Maressa, into their family, and she immediately became the apple of his eye, a special relationship they maintained for the rest of his life.
In 1993, Dan accepted the superintendent position at Sauk Centre Public Schools, and he, Teri and Maressa made the move to what would become their home for the next 27 years. Dan retired from the Sauk Centre Public Schools in 2016, and spent his remaining years being a devoted husband, father and grandfather.
Over his professional career, Dan was involved in many local fraternal organizations, community clubs and charitable causes. He had a special love for the Sauk Centre Rotary Club, for which he served two different stints as club president.
Dan was also very active in various professional education organizations, both on the state and national level. In 2007-08, Dan was elected as the president-elect of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. In the next two consecutive years, he would serve as the board president and board past president.
In July 2011, Dan was voted to the governing board of the American Association of School Administrators, where he served for years.
Dan also served as an adjunct professor of public school finance and school community relations at St. Cloud State University for 17 years, from 1983 to 2010.
Some of the awards he received over his career included the Japanese Fullbright Memorial Fund Program Participant; Minnesota Association of School Administrators Region VI Administrator of Excellence; Minnesota Association of School Administrators Region VI “Wise Sage” Award; Leadership in Educational Excellence Award from the Central Minnesota Service Cooperative; and Bemidji Regional InterDistrict Council Leadership and Service Award.
Dan also was selected to participate in the prestigious Bush Public Schools Executive Fellows Program in 1991-92.
But Dan also made time for his favorite pastimes which included traveling both here in the United States and abroad with Teri. Some of their favorite trips included France, Turkey, Japan and New Orleans.
He also made frequent trips to northern Minnesota to hunt and fish with friends, family, and his special outdoors adventurer, his grandson Evan.
Around home, Dan enjoyed gardening, walking with his dogs, cooking and reading.
Dan will always be remembered for his kindness, generosity, and his firm belief in the goodness of every person. Many people have stated that they wouldn’t be where they were personally or professionally without Dan’s encouragement and support. Dan’s legacy reaches far and wide.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Teri Brooks, his daughter Maressa and her husband Josh Rousslange of Sauk Centre, Minn., and their son Evan.
He also is survived by his mother, Lois Brooks of Crookston, Minn., and his parents-in-law Jack and Eunice Gilbertson of Bloomington, Minn.
Lastly, he is survived by his brothers and sisters Deb Koolstra of McBain, Mich.; Laurie Sweet of Rockmart, Ga.; Lonnie Brooks of Crookston; Daren Brooks (Carol Steinhoff) of Crookston; Drew Brooks of Grand Forks, N.D.; Dustan Brooks of Grand Forks, N.D.; and Devlyn (Shelley) Brooks of Moorhead, Minn.; and brother-in-law Reid (Laurel Drevlow) Gilbertson of Lake Elmo, Minn.; sister-in-law Karli Spinella of Chester, Conn.; and sister-in-law Marla (Donnie) Mcfall of North Minneapolis; as well as many, many nieces and nephews on both sides of his family.
He was preceded in death by his and Teri’s grandparents; his father, Lawrence Brooks; a brother, Michael; and a brother-in-law, Dave Koolstra.
The family asks that memoriams to be made to the “Tree of Life” at Center Care Hospital and Clinic in Sauk Centre and the CaringBridge website.