Patsy Brooks, 79, passed away November 24 at Skyline Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Cañon City. An avid photographer, she took pictures nearly all of her adult life.
Born and raised in Salida, she graduated high school in 1959 then attended the University of Colorado majoring in Chemical Engineering. Before she finished her degree, she married her husband, Lowell. This forced her to follow her husband to Maryland, where he pursued his degree and she pursued a variety of jobs, all intended to support them while he got his PhD in Math. Not wanting to be out done, she continued pursuing her degree at night at the Johns Hopkins University and obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry, mathematics and education in 1967. Finals her last year were somewhat complicated by the birth of her daughter, Kelly, one week before graduation. She managed to get it all done and her proud husband and daughter accompanied her to graduation at Hopkins.
Pat's informal photography career began with an Ansco 35 mm camera she bought with proceeds scavenged from her high school graduation presents. All during her college career she snapped and snapped -- at least to the extent she could afford to buy and process film. As soon as she was married, she became the family photographer, taking several hundred pictures documenting her married life. During most of the time her family was growing up, Pat did not have time to pursue photography, other than as a hobby. Other things, such as serving 12 years as Councilman, Mayor and City Administrator of the City of Salida, plus volunteering for numerous charities seemed to get in the way of her first love.
Finally, when she retired from the City in January 1998, she discovered the time she had been missing. The family was grown, and the City was but an interesting memory. She enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography where her diligence paid off in a professional photographer certificate from the same institution. She set up her photography business the same year and was productively busy ever since.
Patsy enjoyed hiking in the mountains, picnics at O’Haver, and Frantz lake, walking her dog, and extended motor home trips where she did most of the driving.
A memorial service will be planned once COVID-19 restrictions are removed.
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