Mark Wheeler Brooks, 63, a beloved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, son and brother, passed away on Saturday, May 11, 2019.
Mark was born on September 24, 1955 in Chattanooga. He grew up working on his family farm, Brooks Dairy Inc., in Ooltewah, where he attended Ooltewah High School, graduating in 1973. Mark attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) earning his Bachelors of Science Degree in Mathematics in 1977. While at UTC, Mark was a member of the Drum and Bugle Corps, the UTC Marching Band, and the Chattanooga Opera. Mark went on to receive a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1978, and a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1991.
Mark was a dedicated employee to the Tennessee Valley Authority from 1979 until 2014. During his 35 years of service with TVA in multiple departments, he held his longest tenure with the Transmission Reliability Operations group. His peers viewed him as a leader and held his talents and contributions to the department in the highest regard. Even more than his dedication to his work, he was a loyal family man.
On May 26, 1979, Mark married his college sweetheart, Sallie McKenzie (Brooks). During their 40-year marriage, Mark and Sallie raised three daughters in Chattanooga through their examples of faith, perseverance and unconditional love. As the pillar in his family, he taught and lived by his motto, “Always Earned, Never Given.”
Mark was best known in the community as a volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House, an activist for the East Brainerd Community, a dedicated member of the YMCA, a former member of Ooltewah Baptist Church, a former deacon of Ridgedale Baptist Church, and an active member of the Christ United Methodist Church.
Mark was an avid runner, with a passion for Disney half-marathons, having completed seven in the past three years.
In retirement, Mark and Sallie grew a passion for travel, whether it was a trip to visit their three daughters, exploring a new National Park, or relaxing on a cruise. Above all, nothing compared to the love Mark had for his wife, daughters, and grandchildren. He will forever be remembered as a man of truth and integrity.
Mark was preceded in death by his father, Henry Allen Brooks, and mother, Betty Wheeler Brooks.
He is survived by his wife, Sallie McKenzie Brooks; daughters, Kelley (Bradlee) Simoneaux, Emily (Matthew) Smith, and Michelle (Brock) Oliver; grandchildren, Mary Brooks Simoneaux, Wheeler Simoneaux, and McKenzie Oliver; daughter in heart, Monica Summers; brothers, John Brooks and Phillip (Gena) Brooks; brothers and sisters in law, Rick and Marie McKenzie and Amy and Alan Potter; and many aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends at the Chattanooga Funeral Home - East Brainerd Chapel on Friday, May 17, from 4-7 p.m.
The funeral service will be held at Ooltewah Baptist Church on Saturday, May 18, at 2 p.m. with Reverends Larry Williams and David Hall officiating.
A graveside burial service will follow at the Ooltewah Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites memorial donations to the Ronald McDonald House of Greater Chattanooga (rmhchattanooga.com) and the Wheels of Happiness Foundation (wheelsofhappiness.org).
Arrangements are by the East Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist, 8214 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421.
Please share your thoughts and memories at www.ChattanoogaEastBrainerdChapel.com.