Helen Frances Witherall Brooks was born January 30, 1943 to the late Pauline Witherall Verdell and the late Joseph Doores, Sr. at Freedman’s Hospital in Washington, DC and departed this life on April 13, 2020. In 1960, she graduated from Dunbar High School. Desiring to continue her education, she attended the Washington School for Secretaries and graduated in 1969.
Helen took pride in being a committed and hard worker. For seven years she worked at Woodward and Lothrop Department Store. She was able to work her way up from a Gift Wrapper to the Vice President’s Executive Secretary. In 1973, she was able to use her secretarial experience and education to procure employment with the Federal Government National Endowment for the Arts. Helen then became the Executive Assistant to the Director of Presenting and Commissioning Program until she retired in 1994.
On August 26, 1967, Helen was united in marriage to Willie H. Brooks. He was the love of her life and her best friend. Her goal for her marriage was to make her husband happy and to provide him with a loving family. God allowed their union to be blessed with three children: Berlinda Virginia, Carlos Jamal, and Isaac Rashan Brooks. She loved her family dearly and wanted nothing but the best for them. She often prayed for God to show her the right thing to do, because above everything she wanted to be a good wife, mother and grandmother. After her husband’s death, she especially loved spending time with her great-grandchildren. She lived for the days when they would visit her or she would get the opportunity to babysit.
In September of 1956, at the age of thirteen, Helen was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ at Bible Way Church Worldwide. In 1957, she joined the Way of the Cross Church of Christ under the leadership of the late Bishop Henry C. Brooks and Bishop Alphonzo D. Brooks. Later in her adult years, she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and dedicated her life to Christ. Helen enjoyed serving the Lord and participated in many ministries, especially singing and working with children. She sang in the Pastor’s Choir, the H. C. Brooks Chorale, the Women’s Chorus, and the Angelic Choir. She was a Junior Church teacher and an assistant with the Voice of Tomorrow Choir and the Children’s Choir.
In 1997, she moved to Fort Wayne, In and joined Christ Temple Church under the leadership of Bishop E. C. Haywood. It was under this ministry that her relationship with God was deepened significantly. Helen was active in several ministries at Christ Temple: CTC choir, Missionary Board, Women of Praise, Pastor’s Aid Committee, Children’s Church and Forgive and Forget Sheepfold Ministry.
In 2014, she became a member at Emmanuel Apostolic Church under the leadership of Elder DeMarkus Pennington. Though she were only a member here for six years, Helen often commented how she felt most connected at Emmanuel given she had an opportunity to serve as a Mother in the church. It was almost as if God allowed her to use her experiences from early salvation until now to help further grow and sustain the foundation being laid by Pastor Pennington. She was also an active participant in the Women of Greatness and the Seasoned Saints auxiliaries.
Helen leaves to cherish her memory, a daughter, Berlinda Brooks; two sons, Carlos (Gina) Brooks and Isaac (LaToya) Brooks; ten grandchildren, Derrick, Brittany, Mandy, Cameron, Alicia, Ayana, China, Jamaree, John, and Shawn; nine great-grandchildren; four sisters, Marianna Doores, Melza Doores-Sykes, Lenora Fendell, and Frances Frye all of Maryland; two brothers, Lawrence (Kathleen) Doores, and Garcia Doores of Virginia; two sisters-in-law, Helen Durham of Fort Wayne and Verlene Brown of Maryland; two god-daughters, Karen Scott of Virginia and Tiffany Walton of Maryland, and host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years Willie H. Brooks, her parents Pauline Verdell and Joseph Doores Sr., brother Joseph Doores Jr., great-granddaughter Candise Brooks, and devoted best friend Nevelyn Dean.
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