William Dannelly (“Bill”) Brooks, Jr., 87, passed away at home with his family on June 25, 2021. Bill was born on March 21, 1934, the son of William Dannelly, Sr. and Elizabeth Jane (“Janie”) Edwards Brooks. Bill grew up in Evergreen, NC, playing sports for the Evergreen High School Greenies, where he was known for having the best-looking legs on the court. Bill met his future wife, Sara Margaret Floyd, in the seventh grade and convinced her to marry him while he was attending North Carolina State College, which he chose despite his previous life as a Tar Heel fan. They wed in 1954 and Bill graduated in 1956, after which he was employed at the Newport News (Va.) Shipbuilding and Drydock Company.
Bill’s time in R.O.T.C. at State ultimately led to his being stationed in Nuremburg, Germany, where he worked in Army Security for 18 months. Bill returned to Columbus County, NC in 1959 and ran the petroleum marketing business W.D. Brooks, Inc. from that time until 1988, when he semi-retired from the company and became Columbus County Tax Administrator until 1999. After his two years of active duty, Bill continued to serve in the Army Reserve for 24 years before retiring as a Colonel.
Bill served in several capacities with the Whiteville United Methodist Church, including as chair of the Administrative Board and as a tenor in the church choir. He contributed to his community in many different ways, including with the Whiteville Lions Club; the Whiteville Chamber of Commerce; the Whiteville School Board; the Advisory Boards of Waccamaw Bank & Trust, United Carolina Bank, and BB&T; and the Columbus County Committee of 100. However, Bill’s most cherished accomplishment was serving in the capacities of director and fundraising chair of the Southeastern Community College Foundation.
In his spare time, Bill enjoyed watching his balls slice on the golf course, giving geese a sense of security when he hunted them on Lake Mattamuskeet, and exulting in NC State Wolfpack victories and cursing their losses. He was known as a compassionate and generous man who always took time to help others. With Sara, he raised three children, William Dannelly Brooks, III (Kathy) of Hickory, NC; Sara Kathryn Brooks Collier (Jim) of Morristown, NJ; and Susan Elizabeth Brooks of Raleigh, NC. Bill relished time with his five grandchildren: William Dannelly Brooks, IV (Muneeba), Sara Elizabeth Collier Duyck (Fred), James Brooks Collier, Emily Kathryn Collier Porter (Sutton), and Margaret Anna Collier, and his six great-grandchildren. Bill was predeceased by his parents and his sisters Claire Jane Brooks McGirt and Rachel Eleanor Brooks.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at 2:00 pm at the Whiteville United Methodist Church with Dr. Terry Hunt officiating. Burial with full military honors will be in Whiteville Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the church parlor from 1:00 - 1:45 pm prior to the service.
Donations in Bill’s memory can be made to Lower Cape Fear Life Care at 206 Warrior Trail Road, Whiteville, NC 28472 or the SCC Foundation at P.O. Box 151, Whiteville, NC 28472.
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