William Decker BrookensOctober 29, 1927 ~ July 15, 2017 (age 89)
It is with a humble heart that we announce the passing of Mr. William Decker Brookens. He passed at his residence 25 Tamarack Dr. Springfield, Massachusetts. "Decker" gained his heavenly wings and took flight on Saturday July 15, 2017.
Decker was born in Waco, Texas on October 29, 1927 to the late Joseph Sydney Brookens Sr., M. S., D.D. and Florence Olivia Brookens nee Cloud. Decker died at home in Springfield, Massachusetts on July 15, 2017 surrounded by his loving family.
Decker or “Deck”, as he was known by many, was the fifth child of seven siblings. Although Decker was born with Cerebral Palsy, he did not realize he was handicapped. Decker was independent! As a child, Decker roamed his Mobile Alabama, Wienacker Avenue neighborhood in a homemade wagon that he alone mobilized. In the early 40s, Decker received his first wheelchair, purchased by siblings Emma and Victor when they got there first jobs.
Although he was home schooled, Decker had neighborhood friends and was always on the go. Decker was mischievous, entertaining and fun to be around. He loved joking and playing pranks with his siblings and friends. Decker maintained his “Joie de vivre” all of his life!
Upon the deaths of his parents, Decker lived with his sisters. They all “time shared” Decker over the years enjoying his company. He would stay with one sister then after a couple of years he would say,
“I think I should go stay with Emma/Cat/Poose for a while. I think they are a little lonely.”
Whomever he was with would argue with him and the sisters would argue with each other, to try to convince him not to leave, but he’d always answer in a scolding tone,
“Don’t Act like that. Be fair. You know you have to share me!”
Decker’s hobby was music and throughout his life he always had a working radio. Being a music enthusiast he acquired the most up to date radio set combinations. He started out with plain transistor radios in the 40s-50s, moved on to eight track tape radios in the 60s, upgraded to cassette tape radios in the late 70s, and progressed to Cd players in the 90s and 2000s. Decker had a Rocola® in the 70s, a Walkman ® in the 90s, and lately blue toothed music from smart phones and tablets.
Decker’s enjoyment of the blues never diminished over time. Decker knew his Blues. You could play “Name that Blues Tune” with Decker regarding any Blues song and he could tell you the proper name of the song (not just the refrain) and the artist who sang it. Once he told you he would laugh and say,
“Betcha’ didn’t think I knew that!”
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by siblings Joseph S. Brookens Jr., Victor E. Brookens Sr., Paul L. Brookens, Florence Burton, (in-laws) Lenell Bailey, H. Martin Murray, Opal Brookens, Florence Brookens Webb and nephews Michael Brookens and Victor E. Brookens Jr.
Decker is survived by siblings Emma B. Bailey and Alma S. Murray, nieces and nephews Florence B. Eatman, M.D., Joseph and Jean Brookens, Reverend Alfred L. and Tina B. Johnson, Mark and Bernadine Brookens, Charles and Tracy Williams, Emma (Amelia) Williams, Cynthia Cunningham and Vivian Bennett.
Mourned by great nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends, his loss will be felt for years to come.
Emma and Alma’s homes won’t sound the same without Muddy Waters, BB King, Etta James and John Lee Hooker resonating tunes thru out the night!