Lula Belle Wood Brooks Obituary
Beloved Corvallis Matron Taken By Death, Her Meals Won National Fame
Western News Febuary 6, 1958
Compiled by: Keenan Moore
Happy herself and making other people happy, right to the moment of dissolution was the lot of Lula Belle Wood Brooks who passed away in the twinkling of an eye while seated in her kitchen at the Brooks hotel Sunday afternoon. Probably had she picked the manner of her passing from this world Mrs. Brooks would have chosen just the manner that it came.
Though her health had not been good for several years when the inevitable transpired her family and friends were desolated for they realized a great void was at hand. The place of Mrs. Brooks in the hearts of those who loved her will not be filled easily if at all, and the service which she rendered the public will be equally difficult for her daughters, Mrs. R. D. Giesy and Mrs. Hector Rasmussen to provide. However with the training they have received thru the years with Mrs. Brooks they hope to continue to operate the Brooks hotel at the high standard realized and maintained by their mother with their aid.
Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Gerald Meyer at Dowling chapel in Hamilton Wednesday afternoon. Interment was made in Corvallis cemetery. Those who served as pallbearers were Dudley Bawden, Alfred Simmons, Roy Thomas, Ed Bay, Dr. J. W. Kilpatrick and Gilbert Chaffin.
Born at Corvallis March 26, 1882, a daughter of pioneer parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. John F. Wood, who had come from Missouri to the Bitter Root in 1876. Lula Belle Wood grew up in the community in which she was destined to make her home throughout her entire life. She was wed at Victor Oct. 15, 1898 to Lewis Newton Brooks. The couple made their home on a farm north of Corvallis until 1914 when they moved to Corvallis where they acquired the former T. J. Hefling residence which became nationally known as the Brooks hotel.
At the Brooks hotel the Brooks children were raised and the family turned its attention to providing lodging and meals for the public. As time progressed the excellence of the culinary prowess of Mrs. Brooks, together with the friendly family atmosphere of the establishment, grew until it was not only known as a fine place to dine among Bitter Rooters, but among discriminating persons of western Montana. Gradually the fame of the home cooked meals spread until the Brooks hotel owned a nation-wide reputation as a good place to eat.
Mrs. Brooks was not alone an excellent cook, she was a sterling wife and mother, a wonderful friend and owner of a character and disposition surpassed by none. It was no wonder that people from far came to Brooks to dine and found good excuses to return to Brooks to repeat the pleasure.
Those who survive Mrs. Brooks are the daughters: Mrs. R. D. Giesy, Mrs. Hector Rasmussen, Mrs. Carl Swanson all of Corvallis; a sister, Mrs. Andrew Sherry of Helena; a brother, A. B. Wood, Corvallis. There are also three Grandsons: Russell D. Giesy, Whitefish and Jimmy and Charles Swanson, Corvallis. Great grandsons are Russell Dean and Roger Giesy, Whitefish. In addition there are many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, and a world of friends.
Louis Newton Brooks, the husband, died June 6, 1946. A daughter, Inez Brooks, died Jan. 31, 1950, and a son died many years ago.