REM Award Honorees (2001) — Thelma Eye Brooks (Maine Genealogical Society, Taconnett Falls Chapter)

Thelma Eye Brooks was born in Calais, the daughter of Chester and Elizabeth (Bessie) Eye. After graduating from high school there, she moved to Gardiner with her family. During World War II she worked for the government at an air base in Rome, New York as an airplane mechanic.

After the war she returned to the Gardiner area, married, and had four children. She was involved with Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, coaching girl’s basketball, and refereeing. In addition, she taught swimming for the Red Cross and volunteered at Togus for over 1500 hours.

Three of her children were in the service; one in the Army who died in Vietnam; one served 20 years in the Navy, one 20 years in the Air Force, both now retired. Another son died in 1994.

Until her retirement in 1987, Thelma Brooks worked at the Social Security office. Then she worked part-time as deputy town clerk in Fairfield for ten years. She organized the Waterville Singles Club in 1977 and has served as president and treasurer of the Maine Gold Star Mothers for 15 years.

Brooks attended the University of Maine in Augusta part-time from 1966-1970. She was inspired by a history class to begin genealogical research. For twelve years, she operated a genealogy research and publication business. In addition, she has self-published thirteen genealogy books. For the past eight years, she has been working on a book, which will describe three generations of 346 early families of Calais; this book should be published within the next year. Thelma Brooks also has written a genealogy column for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel since 1985.

Thelma Brooks joined the Taconnett Falls Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society in 1982. Currently she serves as president and librarian of this chapter and has held an office almost every year since joining. She has been on the library committee for twelve years. She was instrumental in locating the library in The Center in downtown Waterville and spends many hours there cataloging material and helping others in their research.

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