James Oliver Brooker, 81, known as Jim, Jimmy, “Papa” and “Sweetie” passed away peacefully on Good Friday, April 2, 2021 surrounded by family.
He attended Gainesville High School and served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Essex on an international tour from 1956-1960. Jimmy often spoke of his experience in the Navy as one where he learned discipline and about contributing to a cause larger than himself. He has remained an active member of the U.S.S. Essex Association.
Upon ending his naval tour, he started a career in the pest control industry, where he successfully opened and grew Brooker’s Pest Control. He spoke fondly of his former employees and has maintained some of these friendships for decades.
Jimmy was a Gainesville native, a Gator fan, a Civil War enthusiast, an American patriot and enjoyed travel. He had an avid interest in the fabulous fifties era and restored dozens of antique classic cars in his lifetime. He took great pride in the awards he often won when exhibiting the various antique cars that he personally restored.
Jimmy is preceded in death by his parents Jake and Irene Brooker, by his infant sister Billie Noreen, and his sister Nelma Ansley. He is survived by his adult children Angie Payne (and son in law Dan) and Becky Manthey (and son in law James), six grandchildren: Josh, Jillian, Landon, Addison, Coleton and Ashlynn, and his brothers, Kenny and Richard Brooker, and his sweetie, Patty Sanders.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Monday, April 12, at 1 pm at Hague Methodist Church 7001 NW 126th Ave. Gainesville.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests making a donation to The Pulmonary Fibrosis Association at http://www.pfassociation.org/make-a-difference/donate-now/
Arrangements are in the care of MILAM FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES, 311 S. Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601, 352-376-5361