James Brooks

Obituary of James T. Brooks

James T. Brooks of Lafayette Hill, Pa (formerly Flourtown, Pa) passed away in the early morning hours of January 19, 2020. He was the devoted husband of 35 years to Theresa C. Brooks (O’Lone). He was the proud father to Laura Maszczak (Steven), Emily, Kathleen and James Brooks; and the adored “Pop Pop” to Madeline, Liam and Charlie Maszczak. Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents John P. and Rose V. Brooks (nee Dunkerley) as well as his brothers Patrick W. Brooks and Paul J. Brooks and was a beloved brother to Mary E. Brooks (MacDonald), John R. (Peggy), Rosemarie MacDonald, Anne Brooks Sams, Ellen R., as well as Cynthia Culp Jacob. He was admired and cherished by his 38 nieces and nephews, as well as their spouses and children; and he was a treasured friend, a respected business owner, a devout fisherman, and an inspiration to many. Jim was the youngest of eight children. His formative years were spent on the grounds of the Order of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, where his father worked as the chauffeur to the Reverend Mother, and his uncles as the groundskeeper and custodian for Chestnut Hill College. Raised in a three story home on Bethlehem Pike, which now serves as the convent for the SSJ, Jimmy grew up surrounded by a deep faith rooted in the SSJ Mission that “we live and work so that all people may be united with God and with one another.” At an early age, Jim began to experience the orders mission in action, working alongside the Sisters in the kitchen of the St. Joseph’s Villa. Immersed in the Sisters’ spiritual philosophy of acceptance, love and compassion, Jim began to practice principles of perseverance and hard work; and developed an inclination to serve others - values he carried with him for the rest of his life. In writing about his experience, Jim once said “There is no way I could explain what it was like to be connected to the Mother House of the Sisters of Saint Joseph... I’ll just say it was an almost magical place, filled with love and Holiness.” It was during his 8th grade year at St. Genevieve’s School when Jimmy first began to feel a calling to the priesthood. Following this calling, he attended Marist Prep, a minor seminary for the Marist Fathers and Brothers in Langhorne, Pa.; but when the school unexpectedly closed its doors at the end of his junior year, Jim felt a shift in his life’s direction. He attended Bishop McDevitt High School for his senior year, and it was there where he met Theresa O’Lone, who would soon become his “sweetheart,” and forever “girlfriend.” Forgoing a college career, at 18 Jim began working as a laborer for the CBM Construction Company under the leadership of Alfred E. Campellone. The year was 1979. By 1985, Jim was made partner in the company and in 1988 he founded SWERP Inc., a subsidiary to CBM Construction. When CBM closed in 1996, SWERP Inc. began its independent operation with a 3 man crew doing cement mortar linings of manholes. By 2000, SWERP Inc. had added a second crew and Jim continued to expand the business with his hard work, his savvy business mind, and his bold and forward thinking approach. Jim continuously reinvested his business’ earnings into expanding the equipment portfolio and the capability of service offerings. In 2013, Jim moved the company’s office from a room in his basement to a newly purchased 6,000 sq.ft. facility in Bristol, Pa. SWERP Inc, a business that began with a kid, a crew and vision, has grown to employ a staff of over 20 men and women, and has proven a grave testament to Jim’s exceptional mind and spirit. Though he took great pride in his business and financial accomplishments, it was in his personal and social life where Jimmy’s light would truly shine the brightest. It is nearly impossible to put into words the character of such a selfless, fun loving, talented and brilliant individual. A true Renaissance Man, Jimmy could - and did - do anything. Whether fixing a leaky faucet; playing - and composing - original songs and lyrics on his guitar; or inventing equipment and materials for his business, Jim had a “can-do” mentality and a determination that ceased to quit. “I don’t care how you get from point A to point B, just get there,” he would say; and he truly did always find a way to “get there.” Jim’s passion and talents were endless; his appreciation and respect for nature profound; his positivity, compassion and love unconditional. Jimmy treasured his wife, Theresa; his family and friends; his sobriety; his home; his music; his fishing; his faith and his love for helping others. Father of four, grandfather of three, uncle, cousin, brother and brother in law to many, it was never any secret that Jimmy was the “favorite.” And for Jimmy, the concept of “family” extended beyond blood. He was a brother and friend to quite literally every person he met. Whether it be for five minutes or fifty years, any person who crossed Jim’s path walked away a little bit happier and a little bit better than they were before. Having known you; we are blessed for having loved you. We thank you for all you were, all you still are, and all you will always be. We are truly the luckiest ducks. Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, Jan 24 at11:00 AM at Saint Philip Neri Church 437 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill An Evening Viewing will be held on Thursday, Jan 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Saint Philip Neri Church as well and A Morning Viewing will be held on Friday, Jan 24 from 9:30 to 11:00 AM at the church before the Funeral Mass James's Interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery 3301 W. Cheltenham Ave., Philadelphia In lieu of flowers or monetary donations, Jim would encourage you to please make a blood donation or a donation may be made in his memory to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at LLS.org.
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Thursday
23
January

Evening Viewing

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Saint Philip Neri Church
437 Ridge Pike
Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, United States
Friday
24
January

Morning Viewing

9:30 am - 11:00 am
Friday, January 24, 2020
Saint Philip Neri Church
437 Ridge Pike
Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, United States
Friday
24
January

Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Friday, January 24, 2020
Saint Philip Neri Church
437 Ridge Pike
Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, United States

Interment

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
3301 W. Cheltenham Ave.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
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