Marty and Donny Brooks have been chosen as the 2012 Grand Marshals for the Valley Community Fair. Marty and her husband Don were married in 1975 and have two daughters Dani and Denise. They have lived in Valley since 1991 and have been strong community members ever since. Marty grew up in Valley and attended school here. She worked at the Valley School as a para-professional educator from 1992–2011. Donny has owned and operated the Brooks Tree Service since 1999. Marty helped found the Booster Club with her younger sister, Helen. “Whatever students needed,” Mrs. Brooks said, “We tried to help.” Together with other generous members of the community they helped the less fortunate, the community, and especially children. They purchased the new sandbox and kitchen for the Valley School playground and raised $900 for new instruments for the band class. Each year, the Boosters ran a food drive to make sure every family in Valley could have a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. They started the Tree of Sharing program, where anyone in the community could get a less fortunate child a Christmas present. Marty grinned and said, “I wish we could’ve seen the kid’s faces when they opened their presents.” Marty has helped numerous years with the fair and tries to make it a family affair. This year her entire family will be attending the fair to help honor their parents.
In 1956, Marty’s family moved to Valley from Davenport, Washington. She attended the Valley School and was a member of the second to last graduating class of the former Valley High School. After she graduated, she moved to Eugene, Oregon, where she worked a number of jobs— farming, fieldwork, and even cooking for an elk hunting camp one season.
It was in Oregon where she first began assisting adults with developmental disabilities and discovered her passion for working with people who needed extra help. She worked with 5-7 women with various special needs for eight years in an adult foster care house, the first of its kind in Oregon. “They were my girls,” she said, “To be honest, if I still lived there, I’d still be working there.”
Marty returned to Valley in 1991 to help take care of her ailing mother. She said her husband, Don, an old growth logger, “was tired of the rain anyway.” She got a job at the Valley School where she dedicated her rare and vital skills to students for 19 years.
Nowadays, she and her husband maintain a ranch where they tend their five head of cattle and are followed around by one big black dog nicknamed “big dog” who rides in the front seat of Don’s truck. They visit their two daughters and six grandchildren in Oregon whenever they get a chance. When they can, the Brooks’ love to travel to exotic places: Saint Thomas, the Virgin Islands, England, Scotland and South Africa. And less exotic places like Mississippi, Arizona, Texas and Alaska.
Thank you Marty and Don for dedicating your time to the community.
In This Photo: Donny and Marty Brooks