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Robert E. Brooks

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Robert E. Brooks Obituary
Born July 5, 1929 Hoboken, NJ - Died April 7, 2018 Durango, CO

Robert E. "Ol' Bob" Brooks attended Weehawken High School, graduating in 1949, after which he moved to Boulder, Colorado to attend the University of Colorado, where he studied Geology. He met Margaret Bramhall of Boulder in 1950, while living at the Wagon Wheel Lodge in Fourmile Canyon, where she worked. They married in 1951, and Bob went to work as a "Dumpy" driver for Laudermilk Construction, which was improving Highway 119 between Boulder and Nederland. They moved to Questa, New Mexico to work on the Red River Highway, and then to Springer, NM. In 1954 they returned to Boulder and by 1960 Bob had founded the Western Mortgage Company. In 1964 he partnered with Bob Cooley to buy the Canyon Lumber Company on Canyon Boulevard, and in 1966 he partnered with Don and Marianne Stilson to purchase the 100-acre Lazy BS Ranch on Magnolia Road. A member of the Unitarian Congregation of Boulder, he led the fundraising committee to build the current church. In 1969, he and Margaret purchased the 640-acre Twin Sisters Ranch on Magnolia Road.

The 1970s saw Bob in the Farm & Ranch development business, with ranches in the Shields River Valley of Montana, the Grand Mesa, Virginia Dale, and Prairie Divide valleys of Colorado. In 1980, he and Margaret bought the 350-acre Chimney Ranch in the Pine River valley of La Plata County, where they were involved in dog training, rescue, politics, and community work. A lifelong interest in archaeology led him into the Colorado Archaeological Society, of which he served as president in 1988. He was active in the Chimney Rock Archaeological Group that ultimately brought that Chacoan Outlier into federal protection as a National Monument, in 2012.

He was preceded in death by Margaret in 2013, daughter Tammy in 1996, and is survived by sons Steve, James, and Larry, and daughter Jean Anne, as well as six grandchildren.
Published in The Durango Herald on Apr. 11, 2018
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