Posted on Thursday, 20th April 2017 | Defuniak Springs
Robert Scott Brooks was born on May 7, 1961, at 11:05 a.m., in Richmond, Virginia, as the third child of Austin and Jo Ann (nee Thurston) Brooks. He weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 20″ long.
Even as a young child, “Scott” exhibited an eager enthusiasm, vibrant intelligence, and boundless energy; characteristics that, as he grew and matured, continued to serve him in all of his endeavors and relationships as the man of passion, integrity, commitment, and honor that everyone who encountered him knew him to be.
His parents recall that as soon as he could run, walking anywhere would not suffice; Scott’s childlike exuberance compelled him to RUN. Anywhere and everywhere he needed to get to, he was excited and determined to get there immediately.
Eager to learn and with a keen intelligence, Scott always easily excelled in academics and was naturally driven and ambitious. His mother, Jo Ann, recalls having taught Sunday School at Branch’s Baptist Church where the family attended in Richmond, Virginia, with a 7-year-old Scott in her class; by the end of the hour, she always marveled that he could recount her entire lesson by memory better than she!
His parents delighted in their energetic little boy with the myriad talents and bright spirit, who was drawn to the ocean and the beach from an early age. Scott played quarterback in Little League football, and was on the wrestling team at Meadowbrook High School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. It was during his high school years that Scott’s love of the ocean and patriotic passion for his country was cultivated and fostered through joining the Sea Cadets, an organization run by the Navy League of the United States in which Scott was exposed to Navy life and taught how to sail; a fierce passion and a nascent patriot was born.
With his newfound respect for and fascination with the Navy, Scott turned his focus onto the goal of being admitted into the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and upon graduating at the top of his high school class in 1979, Scott’s dedication to academic excellence and his deep yet well-rounded resume paid off. He earned appointment to both the Naval Academy and the Coast Guard Academy, but the Navy won out. During his four years at the Naval Academy, Scott continued to develop his love of sailing, he learned the skill of boxing, and his spirit of patriotism, discipline, and integrity was sharpened, becoming embedded into the very fiber of his being.
He graduated with Honors in the Naval Academy Class of 1983, from which he was commissioned as an officer and embarked on his eight years of service to the United States of America as a Navy pilot, with the highly dangerous and specialized skill of flying F/A-18 jets and landing on aircraft carriers in the middle of a heaving ocean in the black of night. Scott served as a naval aviator, flight trainer, and Lt. Commander of a US Navy F/A-18 squadron. It was his class of fighter pilots who were culled to fly as the stunt pilots in the movie Top Gun. Scott Brooks was one of these courageous real-life Top Gun heroes.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1991, Scott parlayed his military-trained, precision flying skill into a career flying commercial airplanes for Delta Airlines, where he safely carried thousands of passengers all over the world for over 26 years.
While flying as a pilot for Delta Airlines in his early years, Scott was based in Los Angeles where God placed the most beautiful woman he had ever seen at a party with him in Malibu Beach on the Fourth of July (befitting of his patriotic heart), where he spun around and literally bumped into Lisa Marie Borges, a model, actress, and producer who lived in Santa Monica, CA. He knew exactly who she was, as he had seen her three years prior, and had tried to locate her since then, but to no avail. Their eyes locked, and as Lisa Marie said, it was literally love at first sight. When asked by Scott’s mother what his new love looked like, Scott replied, bemusedly, “She looks like me.”
Their romance deepened as they recognized in each other the same depth of soul and character that they each themselves possessed, and delighted in the unfolding discoveries of each other’s passionate spirits, generous hearts, fierce love and loyalty in their relationships, values and goals for their future, and ideals of a family. With excited approval from all of their family and dearest, most trusted friends, Scott proposed to Lisa … and they were married on May 13, 2000 on a perfect, sunny, Southern California day, in the idyllic Wayfarer’s Chapel on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, under a Cyprus tree grove atop cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. This magical setting was the beginning of a fairy tale marriage and true partnership in life, with their only son, Logan Scott Brooks, born nearly a year later, on February 26, 2001.
Scott had a magnetic personality and an infectious joie de vivre, and his life with his beautiful wife and son was filled with adventure. As a family, they delighted in traveling the world together and experiencing the beauty of different lands and cultures. While living in their first home together as a family in Atlanta, Georgia, Scott and Lisa began to invest in vacation properties in the idyllic coastal resort community of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, where the family has made their home for the past ten years.
In 2009, Scott founded, along with his wife Lisa and her father, David Borges, Borges Brooks Builders, a business which designs and builds luxury custom homes. With Scott at the helm, Borges Brooks Builders quickly became known for building homes of incredible integrity, beauty, and quality in the community, with eighty-seven projects completed and/or underway when he died. The entire community is enhanced by the gorgeous homes that Scott built, and his professional legacy will live on forever through the families who are blessed to inhabit a Borges Brooks home.
Scott’s steadfast, reliable character and his commitment to excellence and honor, honed by his years in the Navy, was magnified in every single aspect of his life. He cared deeply about his clients who hired him to build their dream homes for him, most of whom grew into deep friendships. Each new home he built was viewed as an exciting opportunity to create something perfect and beautiful, a haven of an environment for a family who would live within the walls he built with such care and precision. He didn’t stop until every detail of perfection was achieved, and he honored and respected every client and every single person who worked for him.
None of this striving for excellence was ever a burden to him; he woke up each morning cheerful and energized, brimming with vim and vigor, excited to tackle every project, detail, and responsibility set before him, which were always myriad and plentiful. Another man may have felt overwhelmed or stressed; not Scott! He loved accomplishment and was invigorated by tasks and challenges; productivity fueled him and stimulated him. This was his true God-given gift.
In addition to flying, traveling the world, and making new building projects come to life, Scott loved running, discussing and debating politics which he studied avidly, and toys that go fast, including his Harley Davidson motorcycle which he loved to ride with his beautiful wife Lisa Marie.
He was Christian by faith, and with all of the wonderful opportunities and blessings given to him by God in his life, his greatest pride and joy was Lisa and Logan. They did everything together as a loving and tightly-knit family. Scott was a hands-on and devoted father who enthusiastically supported Logan in all of his endeavors: academic, athletic, and artistic. Scott loved nothing more than cheering Logan on at all of his cross-country and track meets which he runs for South Walton High School, and is ranked the fastest 3200m freshman runner in the state of Florida.
A recent sweet triumph for Scott was to have won his age category in the 2016 Annual Seaside School 5k, while his son, Logan, was the Champion of the entire race, a field of 2000 runners.
A great man is marked by the strength and depth of his relationships, by his impact on those whose lives were intertwined with his and even those with whom he had brief encounters. Scott was such a man. He was an instant friend to all with his magnetic personality and relational spirit. He was a born leader and a pillar of his community. He had a magnanimous heart of deep generosity, and mentored many young people with passion and enthusiasm, guiding them, believing deeply in them and exhorting them to be the best version of themselves.
One of Scott’s dear friends from the Navy, Marc Manzelli, said of him, “…he was a North Star for so many…Some men plant trees for others to sit under; I think of Scott this way.” He was proud without being arrogant, a man of honor and of his word, a courageous Veteran of this great country which he loved fiercely. Scott was a loyal and fun-loving friend who loved to socialize and laugh, and he deeply impacted everyone who encountered him in all walks of his full yet too-short life.
But of all of Scott’s accomplishments, and the roles Scott played in the lives of so many, he was most proud of Lisa Marie and Logan; and they, likewise, were so proud to call him theirs.
Scott was the epitome of a true American hero, and the loss of his vibrant self on this earth will be deeply mourned.
In addition to his wife and son, Scott is survived by his parents, Austin and JoAnn Brooks of Shacklefords, Virginia, and his three siblings and their spouses: Timothy Brooks and his wife Maria Brooks, of Newport Beach, California; Daniel Brooks, of Chicago, Illinois; and his sister, Kelly Brooks LeBlanc and husband Glen LeBlanc of Stony Creek, Virginia.
“I have fought the good fight, I have run the race, I have kept the faith.”
2 TIMOTHY 4:7
Graveside services for family and close friends will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at Barrancas National Cemetery, Naval Air Station, 80 Hovey Road, Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida. For those attending this service, it is imperative that you arrive at noon at the WalMart parking lot located at 501 North Navy Blvd., in order to join the formal procession by police escort onto the Naval Base. Latecomers cannot be admitted onto the base so please be prompt.
The following day, Friday, April 21, will be a casual Sunset Celebration of Life and bonfire on Grayton Beach in Santa Rosa Beach, beginning at 5:00 p.m.
While the family is accepting a limited amount of floral arrangements, Scott would be honored for donations to be made to a charity close to his patriotic heart, No Greater Sacrifice.
The charity website will have a special donation page dedicated to Scott Brooks.