OAK ISLAND — Alton Brooks McLeod II died in Oak Island, NC on November 24, 2023 after a long
battle with Lewy body dementia.
Brooks was born March 22, 1940 in Henderson, NC and grew up in Roanoke Rapids. After a stint in the US Army- and with the 82nd Airborne- he decided to continue his education at East Carolina University. Not only did he gain a degree in History (with an education minor), he also gained a wife- Caroline Roberson of Robersonville, NC. The two wed in 1963 and immediately started on their life, first in Virginia Beach, and then in Rocky Mount, NC.
It wasn’t until 1969 when Brooks and Caroline moved to Boone for him to take a job as an Admissions officer at Appalachian State University. Brooks stayed with Admissions until 1981 when he moved to become the Registrar for the university, a position he held until he retired. He spent countless hours helping students with their class schedules, registration, and graduation requirements. When he wasn’t doing that, he was teaching racquetball, running graduation ceremonies, or working with various committees on campus.
Brooks was a health enthusiast throughout his life. He worked out every day, played cut-throat racquetball with his buddies on his lunch breaks, and played golf religiously (much to the puzzlement of his children). He and Caroline played tennis weekly and he watched tennis on television with the same intensity as young girls at a Taylor Swift concert.
One of the biggest frustrations of his later life -as his health began to fail, and the Lewys body dementia began to take hold- was that he was no longer able to play golf or tennis, or even just ride his stationary bike.
While work and health were important to him, equally important was his family and community. Brooks was always there for his “girls” (well, except for graduation weekends), and could often be found helping his wife at Hardin Park when she needed it- her students loved when Mr. Brooks would come in for a visit. He volunteered two days a week at Watauga Medical Center, and helped as a greeter at Boone United Methodist Church. He was well known and well loved in the community.
Brooks was predeceased by his parents Brooks and Martha McLeod, several aunts and uncles, and two granddaughters- Vick Earp and Erin Elizabeth Buelow. He is survived by his wife Caroline Roberson McLeod, daughter Kimber Buelow (Jason) of Charlotte, daughter Beth McLeod of Leland, and two granddaughters- Alyssa Buelow and Zoe Earp.
A memorial service will be held in the Spring in Boone, the home of his heart.