Princeton – Marilyn L. Brooks, 89, of Princeton, IL passed away on Monday, January 30, 2023 in her home surrounded by her loving daughters.
Marilyn was born in Moundville, MO to the late Arthur and Beulah (Sheridan) Thompson on October 8, 1933. The family moved to Illinois when Marilyn was 4 or 5 years old, farming in Green Oak and Dover Illinois. Her first grade class was a one room schoolhouse in Green Oak; she attended grades 2 through 8 at Dover Academy and was a graduate of Princeton High School, Class of 1951. She trained as a Radiology Technician at Copley Hospital in Aurora, IL and later worked at Sherman Hospital, Elgin, IL. Marilyn decided she wanted to travel and became an American Airline stewardess. She married the late Kenneth C. Brooks in Dover, IL on June 30, 1956 and together they started a family while living in the Chicago area. The family crisscrossed the country moving to New York, then to St. Louis and finally landing in the San Francisco Bay Area where they remained for twenty-five years. While her children were young, Marilyn volunteered as room mother and Scout leader. She was a past President of the Carolands Garden club in Hillsborough, CA as well as past Vice-President of the San Mateo-Burlingame Auxiliary for the Lucile Packard Stanford Children’s Hospital. As her children grew older she re-entered the workforce and was the office manager for Reimer and Associates, a civil engineering firm headquartered in California.
Marilyn was an avid gardener. She spent many long, happy hours cultivating a cottage garden with lots of color and a touch of whimsy. Inspired by later-in-life artists, she decided to take up painting after moving back to Princeton with her husband to be closer to her mom after her dad had passed. Many wonderful works of her art decorate her home as well as her children and grandchildren’s homes. She loved her children fiercely and spoiled her grandchildren thoroughly. Ice cream for breakfast at Mimi’s house was status quo!
Marilyn had the determination and courage to push through any challenge or obstacle thrown her way. She met her health challenges with a tenacity of spirit that was inspiring. She was a strong, funny, creative force of nature who will be greatly missed.
Surviving are her two daughters, Patricia Brooks of Princeton, IL and Debra (Tom) Forsyth of Sunapee, NH; one son, Tom (Elizabeth) Brooks of El Dorado Hills, CA; six grandchildren, Sarah (Will) Green, Brooks (Annie) Forsyth, Katey Forsyth, Logan Forsyth, Parker Brooks and Ellison Brooks; she is also survived by seven great- grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth Brooks; parents, Arthur and Beulah Thompson; one brother Max Thompson and sister-in-law, Carolyn Thompson.
The family will be holding a Celebration of Life at a later date and time.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to: Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, 400 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 340, Palo Alto, CA 94301; or online at
Online condolences may be directed to Ptak Funeral Home.