The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

April 16, 2014

Spurgeon Brooks was a farmer, helped establish Agriculture Center


Wednesday, April 16, 2014 — Charles Spurgeon Brooks left the rocky land of Northern Stanly County for new ground in life eternal on April 12, 2014 after several years of declining health. Spurgeon was 92 years old and died in the home where he had spent most of his life surrounded by his wife, Alene, and their family.  

This strong-willed gentle man spent his life committed to farming and seeking to make his “little place” in this world a better place to live.  At the center of it all was his family and deep Christian faith.

Born on November 8, 1921, he was the son of the late Charles Calvin Brooks and Anna Maie Rogers Brooks.  He grew up in Richfield, N.C., where his father and mother farmed some of the same land he spent his whole life farming.  At an early age he began plowing the land with a mule until finally in his early twenties his best friend and brother-in-law assisted him in buying his first tractor. He continued to be a progressive and innovative farmer, who with his wife Alene and family, were always blazing the trail with the newest and most modern techniques in farming.

For many years, Spurgeon was actively involved in numerous farm organizations throughout the county and state. He was a member of Farm Bureau of Stanly County, serving as president, as well as serving on other committees. While the family ran a dairy of Holstein cows, Spurgeon became active in the state Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA)  and he later became state chairman of this organization.  

Spurgeon was actively involved with making Stanly County a better place to live. He had served on various school committees during his children’s school years and served on committees to see the consolidation of the county high schools in the early 1960s. He had also been a member of the Richfield Civitan Club, where he served as president.

In the early 1980s Spurgeon, along with many other concerned citizens, became deeply aware of the need for a place to house large agricultural and other cultural events in Stanly County.  He served as chairperson of the steering committee that advocated for the building of the present Stanly County Agriculture Center.

Spurgeon also served on a committee to oversee the building of the Downtown Market Place in Albemarle, on the board of directors of First Union National Bank and for many years was active in the Democratic Party.

Spurg, as he was often called, was recipient of several awards during his farming years. In 1955, he received Jaycee’s Young Farmer of the year award.  In 1964 he and his family received Master Farm Family of the year award from the Progressive Farmer Magazine. He was probably most excited to receive the North Carolina Farm Conservation Award in 1987.

Even though Spurgeon loved to farm, Sundays were his favorite day of the week. He seldom missed attending Sunday School and Worship Services at New Mount Tabor UMC, where he was a member for over 80 years.  He loved the people, the singing, and the time he spent worshiping and serving. He had taught Sunday School, served as Church Lay Leader, served as Board and Council Chairperson, as well as many other ministries within the church.

Spurgeon is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Alene Lowder Brooks, who was truly his soul-mate, four children: Judy Allred and husband, Jim, Butch Brooks and wife Wanda, Steve Brooks, Jed Brooks and wife Bonnie, all of Richfield. He was blessed to have nine grand children: Grant Allred and wife April, Anna Allred-McGee and husband Brant, Elizabeth Sutton and husband Brad, Jennifer Carrick and husband Jamie, Laura Daugherty and husband Lee, Kim Shaver and husband Jeremy, Amanda Bowen and husband Kent, Jed David Brooks, Jr., Jenna Brooks and husband Philip Nanny and 17 great-grandchildren: Jacob, Grayson and Laurel Allred, Isabella, Sophia and Evelyn McGee, Ashland, Addie and Garrett Sutton, Tanner, Avery and Hannah Carrick, Catherine, Tyler and Lillian Daugherty, and Luke and Charlie Shaver.

Spurgeon and the family were blessed at the end by the love and support of Hospice of Stanly County and by the special caregivers, Becky Ingram, Karen Stevenson, Polly Clark and many other angels of mercy that were there throughout Spurgeon’s failing health.

A celebration of life for Spurgeon will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at New Mount Tabor UMC in Richfield, N.C., where he will lie in state 30 minutes prior. The officiating ministers will be the church’s pastor, Rev. Jack Tookey and Rev. Jim Allred, son-in-law to Spurgeon. Visitation was held at Stanly Funeral Home Tuesday, April 15, 2014 from 6-8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Building Fund at New Mt. Tabor, 40237 Millingport Road, Richfield, NC 28137; or Hospice of Stanly County, 960 North First Street, Albemarle, NC 28001; or Bridge to Recovery, PO Box 322, Albemarle, NC 28002.