Charles M. Brooks

1954 - 2024

ALBANY – Charles M. “Chuck” Brooks passed away suddenly Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

Born March 30, 1954, in Brockton, Massachusetts, he was the eldest of three children of Massachusetts natives Malcolm Norris Brooks and Esther Claire Kent Brooks. The family lived in Cohasset, Massachusetts, and then moved to Cooperstown in July of 1963 when Chuck’s father was hired as Director of the Alfred Corning Clark Gymnasium. Chuck enjoyed his youth in Cooperstown, and was active with church youth programs, especially at The First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown.  Chuck graduated from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1972. During his high school years Chuck participated on the basketball and tennis teams. He also enjoyed bowling and playing squash at the ACC gym. He earned both his undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Springfield College and, much like his father, began serving youth in what would become a 34 year a career with the YMCA, 24 of which he was executive director. 

Starting at the Brockport branch of the Rochester YMCA, as program and day camp director, Chuck next became program executive in Fitchburg and Leominster, Massachusetts. He then became the CEO in Troy before becoming branch director when the Troy facility was absorbed into the Capital Region YMCA.  He then moved to Bradford, Pennsylvania where he was CEO of the Bradford Family YMCA, and finally ended his career overseeing the construction of a new 13.2 million dollar Dow Bay Area YMCA in Bay City, Michigan.

Chuck and his wife, Maryellen, retired to Upstate New York, but he was restless and felt that he could still contribute his talents to one of the many local non-profits. Finding that his experiences and skills were compatible with what the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties was looking for, he was hired as executive director of that organization.

In his leisure, Chuck enjoyed his expansive vegetable garden and music, especially singing in barbershop choruses and quartets in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Over the years the Brooks household had many pets, most of them being rescued. Chuck affectionately called his 5 dachshunds his “kids.” 

Chuck is survived by his wife of 46 years, Maryellen Brooks; their three sons, Jonathan Kent Brooks (Raychelle), Christopher Dunham Brooks (Theresa) and Charles Adams Brooks  (Michelle); 4 grandchildren; his sister Ruthanna Cherifi (Said) and brother Wayne Brooks (Pirawan); beloved aunts Charlotte Sargent, Janie Cobleigh (Ray) and Evelyn Kent; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. 

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection and Celebration of the Life of Chuck Brooks will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 30, 2024, at The First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, with the Rev. Jessica D. Lambert, Lead Pastor officiating. Immediately following the service there will be a time of refreshment and fellowship in the adjoining Chapel. 

He will be laid to rest alongside his parents in The Columbarium in the Presbyterian Church-yard. 

Reflecting Chuck’s love for music, his family would gratefully appreciate that expressions of sympathy in the form of memorial donations be directed to the music program at The First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, 25 Church Street, Cooperstown, NY  13326 or to your local animal shelter or animal rescue organization. 

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.