BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
More than 400 friends and family members were at the Montagne Center to honor the life of Congressman Brooks.
Brooks served in Congress for more than 40 years. Brooks was just a few weeks shy of his 90th birthday; he died Tuesday night at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont.
The celebration began with a live jazz band and continued with a welcoming and prayer.
One thing many people had in common were the memories Jack Brooks brought to everyone sitting in the audience.
"Everybody has a story about Jack Brooks because he reached out and touched so many families." Bannister Batiste, family friend said.
Pictures and memories told the story about a man many say was a legacy.
"It was a tremendous tribute to them to recognize the good works that Jack Brooks did for the people of Southeast Texas and for the United States of America," family friend Nick Lampson said.
People came together for laughter, not tears.
"And it's difficult to get a group of people who loved dad together and soon you're going to be telling a story and soon people are going to be laughing and that's it how dad would've wanted it." Jeb Brooks, Jack Brooks' son said.
A role of a father that many said he played well but only few people knew first hand.
"As children and early adults we never knew a life without dad and politics and thanks to you, he always took a moment out of his day to make each of his children feel important." Kate and Kim Brooks said.
It was a chance to say goodbye for the last time and remember Jack Brooks as a part of History and a man that never went down without a fight.
The family asks to send donation to organizations Chairman Brooks supported in lieu of flowers or gifts.
The Brooks Scholarship Fund, Lamar University Foundation, P.O. Box 11500 Beaumont, Texas 77710
The Southeast Texas Food Bank, 3845 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Beaumont, Texas 77705
Some Other Place, Inc. , P.O. Box 0843, Beaumont, Texas 77704