Dr. Robert Brooks

Dr. Robert Brooks

Wednesday, August 27th, 1952 - Monday, May 17th, 2021
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Dear Family and Friends,

With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Dr. Robert Brooks. Rob was a dedicated son, brother, husband, father, grandaddy (doodoodaddy), friend, colleague, mentor, professor, scientist, and all around wonderful person. Rob was, and remains, a light in our lives.

Rob was taken from us far too soon by a rare and cruel disease, sporadic CJD. We will not dwell on his last weeks, but instead share and celebrate the amazing life he has led. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Rob loved to explore the woods and waters in his backyard, canoeing, camping, and becoming an Eagle Scout Master. Rob's undergrad was in biology at Muhlenberg College where he honed his rock climbing skills scaling along the sides of dorms and classroom buildings. He went on to receive his Master’s and PhD at UMASS in Wildlife Biology where his preferred method of inventorying muskrat populations was by reaching blindly into submerged burrows with his bare hands. He then moved to his 38 year career at Penn State, helping countless students along their journeys. Rob also enjoyed a combination of good scotch, classic rock, and collecting antique tools, all while talking about wildlife and his list of ever growing house and Maine projects.

We would say Rob went out of his way to help people, but no one was ever “out of the way”, people were the way. Rob always made people feel included and always helped those who asked (including those who didn’t even know they needed help).

Rob was ever passionate about water. As you think of Rob, you will see him in the dew drops on a spiderweb, you will see him in the sparkle of your whisky ice, and you will see him in the gentle ripples of a pond.

Rob would want you to enjoy every moment of life, and to help others you encounter on the way. In honor of Rob, we ask that you go into the world with a full heart. Whatever your passion, share it with the world. With knowledge, patience, and love, you can inspire. Plant a tree, take a photo, hug a friend. Carry on his kindness as you move through the world, and he will be forever with us.

With much love,
The Brooks Family (Becky, Benj, and Emily)

P.s. If you wish to make a donation in honor of Rob, consider donating to one of the two foundations below, or choose one that speaks to you from one of Rob's many passions:
1) The CJD Foundation: or by mail at CJD Foundation, 3634 W. Market Street, Suite 110, Akron, OH 44333.

2) Millbrook Marsh Nature Center: or by mailing your check to Millbrook Marsh Nature Center c/o CRPR, 2040 Sandy Drive, Suite A, State College, PA 16803.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Private at the convenience of the family
  • Interment

    Private at the convenience of the family
    206 N. Spring Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Gary Petersen

Posted at 01:54pm
I am very sorry to hear of Rob's passing. I enjoyed working with Rob as a fellow faculty member. Rob was always very impressive as a scholar, but more importantly he conducted himself in such a gentlemanly manner. What a fun faculty member to work with! He was always bubbling with new and exciting ideas. It was always great to see him break into a big smile and see his eyes light up whenever some new thought or idea sprang into his thought process. He will be sorely missed. Mary and I will keep him in our prayers.
Gary Petersen

Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 11:33pm
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John Karish

Posted at 11:28am
Very sad to hear of Rob's passing. I enjoyed working with him on a couple Park Service projects. He was a superb scientist who could effectively communicate with field personnel. He will be missed.

Andrew Carleton

Posted at 03:45pm
Please accept my heartfelt condolences on your loss, Becky. Rob was always ready and willing to talk one-on-one on a variety of subjects, not just physical geography (though I got some great ideas for my classes from those discussions!). I also remember with fondness the Halcyon Days holiday get-together that I was fortunate enough to be able to attend on quite a few occasions. Rob's expertise, empathy and upbeat personality will be greatly missed.
In sympathy, Andrew Carleton.

Briel Beaty

Posted at 09:08pm
I am deeply sorry for your loss, sending all my love and support for you and your family. -Briel (Monday morning yoga class)

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