Gary Brooks was born on Oct. 19, 1937, and raised in Miami, Fla. He was the only child of Henry and Jewell Brooks. He graduated from Miami Jackson High School, the University of Florida and Tulane University Medical School. After graduating from medical school, he was drafted by the Army during the Vietnam War and served as commanding officer in Heilbronn, Germany, for three years. Upon his return to the U.S., he completed a residency in psychiatry in Cherokee, Iowa, and then practiced psychiatry in Sioux City, Iowa, and Sun Valley, Idaho, until his unofficial retirement in 2007.
Thereafter he maintained two residencies, one in Safety Harbor, Fla., and the other at his ranch in the Frank Church Wilderness area in Idaho. He worked locums tenens at various hospitals throughout the country until June 2019. He was board-certified in adolescent, adult, geriatric and forensic psychiatry. He built a successful medical practice and transformed the community in which he lived and served. He was highly respected and admired by his peers.
Dr. Brooks is survived by his wife, Mary Kay; his five sons, Mark, Greg, Scott, Justin and Tanner; and also his six grandchildren, Brandon, Adam, Christina, Taylor, Melissa and Austin. He is also survived by his two best friends, E. Clay Parker and Henry Tygar.
Gary was close with his wife, friends, and all of his children and grandchildren. He was enormously generous and compassionate. He was always interested in the individual person and gave far more than he ever expected in return. As his friend Henry Tygar said, “He treated people like human beings.”
Dr. Brooks was an adventurer and an avid outdoorsman. He loved horses, hiking, and camping. He spent lots of time at his ranch in the Frank Church Wilderness in Idaho and was known to saddle up his horse and go camping in the wilderness by himself for days at a time. He loved may things including books, food, wine, art, science and learning to be the best he could be and to have empathy and compassion for others. He is survived by those who loved him, respected him and admired his passion for taking a bite out of life.