Services for Melvin Dwight Brooking, 73, of Ada are at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Father Billy Lewis will officiate. Burial will follow at Rosedale Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Criswell Funeral Home.
Melvin Dwight Brooking was born Jan. 12, 1944, to Vernon Lee "Bud" Brooking and Della Faye (Davis) Brooking at Seminole County. He attended Pleasant Grove High School and later graduated from East Central University with a bachelor's degree in psychology and Oklahoma State University with a master's in sociology. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in February 1969 and served in the Vietnam War as a helicopter platoon assault squad leader.
He met Helen Jane Cameron upon his return to Ada, and they were married Feb. 24, 1979. Together, they had two daughters, Meagan and Meredith.
Melvin retired in 1997 from the state of Oklahoma's Department of Rehabilitation Services after 30 years of service. For Career Day at Meredith's elementary school, he wrote and sang a jingle that pretty well summed up his career:
When I was a younger man,
I traveled all about.
I was looking for a job
That I could not live without.
Then I meet a blinded person
Who could not find his way,
And he said, "Hey, Mister, will you help me out today?"
So, I became a rehabilitation man.
And to this day,
I work with the disabled
Who cannot find their way,
Some are blind, and some can't hear,
And some ain't got no sense.
But with a little rehab work can find employment.
After retirement, he continued working in drug and rehabilitation programs for Oklahoma's prison system.
Melvin was a man of God, judiciously studying the Word and constantly searching for truth. His spiritual journey started in the Pentecostal Holiness Church and ended at St. Joseph Catholic Church, with a lifetime of service, friendship and growth in between. He was well known for his leadership of the Whosoever Will Sunday School Class at Ada First Baptist Church.
He was an ordained minister through the Southern Baptist Convention and served his church and God through various roles, including minister of music at the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Ada; minister of music at First Free Will Baptist Church in Ada; deacon, choir president and teacher at FBC, Ada; music minister at FBC, Stonewall; and pastor of Galey Baptist Church.
He converted to Catholicism approximately 10 years ago. At St. Joseph Catholic Church, he taught catechism classes and served as director for Meals on Wheels. His entire religious journey was a search of Biblical truth, and he passed from this earth with a deep understanding and complete peace in his salvation.
He was known as the gray-haired man with the booming voice who could always be heard singing. He was known as the father always involved in every aspect of his children's lives. He was known as the man with big ideas (and with the wife who could see them through). He was unyielding in his discipline and conviction and audacious in his humor and wit.
He found pure and complete joy in his two granddaughters, Cameron and Brooking. His relationship with them was unique and was genuine. All the love and hope he had rested in those girls. The simple words he sang to his daughters will live on, as they are now sung to the next generation.
I love my girls,
They love me too.
I love to be with them
In everything we do.
(repeat in pig Latin)
Melvin died in his home on October 30 at the age of 73, his body succumbing to cancer, but his spirit soaring to new heights with our Lord.
He is survived by his family in Ada, including his wife, Helen, of the home; daughter, Meagan Brooking; granddaughter, Cameron Brooking; daughter, Meredith Murphy; son-in-law, John Murphy; and granddaughter, Brooking Murphy, all of Ada; He is also survived by a brother, Kenneth Brooking (Ricki) of Tulsa; a sister, Joyce Marsh (Bill) of San Diego, California; and a brother, Doyle Brooking (Linda) of Shawnee.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Carolyn Harris Beck of Shawnee; and a brother, Jerry Brooking of Maud.
The family says those who wish may make memorials to the St. Joseph Catholic Church, Florence Lee Fund, PO Box 1585, Ada, OK 74821.
Published on October 30, 2017