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Benjamin T. ‘Ben’ Brooks Jr., 84, unofficial ambassador of Oak Island

Benjamin T. 'Ben' Brooks Jr.
Benjamin T. ‘Ben’ Brooks Jr.

OAK ISLAND — Dr. Benjamin T. “Ben” Brooks Jr., 84, passed away Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.

A native of Anson County, Ben was a graduate of Brevard College, the University of South Carolina and earned his doctorate from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Ben enjoyed a long career in education, serving as a teacher, principal and superintendent. He was superintendent of Lee County Schools, Durham City Schools and Brunswick County Schools. Ben concluded his career as an administrator for the Marlboro County Schools prior to his retirement in 2000.

Ben was active in many civic and community activities, including the Lions Club of Enfield, Sanford and Southport as well as the Lexington Rotary club. He found early success in life, being named “Tar Heel of the Week” in 1969 by the Raleigh News and Observer. Ben served on the Oak Island Beach Preservation Society and actively supported beach conservation activities. He represented Brunswick County on the Southeastern Economic Development Council and served on the board of State Employees Credit Union. One of his special interests was supporting the MS Bike Ride with the Oak Island Riders.

Ben took great pride in remaining a loyal member of Southport Baptist Church for 40 years, serving as an usher and chairman of the Scholarship Committee.

While all of his accomplishments were important, none meant more to him than being the unofficial ambassador of Oak Island. He did not know a stranger and could be found most mornings at the Flying Pig Coffee shop. He would introduce first timers to all of the happenings on Oak Island and lend a caring ear to all of the locals. If you needed wisdom, Ben was your “go-to.”

Ben was a wonderful son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and true friend. He instilled loyalty into his children and always lived by the mantra, “If you want to have friends, you have to be one.”

Ben was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Faye Horton Brooks; parents, B. Tim and Mary Poplin Brooks; brother, Harold Lamar Brooks; and sister, Miriam Brooks Burr. Surviving are his children, Benjamin T. Brooks III (Emily), Mary Shawn Huggins (Mark) and Carole Brooks Dodson (Alan); and grandchildren, Megan Fisher (Nathan), Ashley Nelson (Rob), Haley Brooks, Cooper Brooks, Hill Brooks and Brooke Huggins. He had one great-granddaughter, Evie Fisher.

A service celebrating his life will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16, at Southport Baptist Church.

Memorials may be made to Southport Baptist Church, 200 N. Howe St., Southport, NC 28465; SECU Hospice House, 955 Mercy Lane SE, Bolivia, NC 28422; or charity of your choice.

Share online condolences with the family at Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service.

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