Obituary: Elton Henry Brooks


Elton Henry Brooks, 85, of Zionsville, went home to be with the Lord Dec. 11.

He was born April 3, 1931, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of the late Esther Thorne and Merritt Gray Brooks.

Elton was a proud Baker Scholar and graduate of Carelton College in Minnesota. He was an accomplished athlete in basketball and swimming.

Upon graduation, Elton entered a management training program with Connecticut General. Shortly thereafter he was recruited to found the Indiana branch of Manufactures Life Insurance Company. Over 27 years he grew the branch from a start-up to the largest branch in the global operation of Manulife.

Elton was committed to personal growth through professional education. He became a Chartered Life Underwriter and a leader of the General Agents and Managers Association. Later he partnered with William Wallace, former CEO of Home Life and the American College in Bryn Mawr, Penn., to create the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation.

At age 55, Elton’s entrepreneurial spirit drove him to co-found Renaissance, Inc. with his son, Paul Brooks. Renaissance Inc. grew to become one of America’s fastest growing companies (Inc 500 – 1994), and working with more than 6,000 financial advisors and philanthropic consultants helped to bring about billions of dollars in philanthropic gifts to tens of thousands of nonprofits around the country and the world.

His strong faith and adventurous spirit led him to travel across the world: to China on behalf of the insurance industry, to India on a mission with Bibles for India, visiting his missionary son in Russia, riding the Orient Express and many more exciting adventures.

Coming to a relationship with Jesus later in life, he hardily pursued his faith. Always an encourager who loved most to help others to grow, his faith gave him an even greater motivation to encourage and help others. This desire enabled him to build an incredible network of friends and colleagues that extended across his entire life.

He is survived by his sons, Paul (Diane) Brooks, Michael (Vera) Brooks, and daughters, Anne Brooks and Katherine Brooks; grandchildren, Katie, Carly, Danik and Eliana Brooks; sister, Verlee Edwards; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife Barbara Brooks; brother Herbert, and sisters, Irene and Ethel.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 19 at College Park Church, 2606 W. 96th Street, Indianapolis, with the service immediately following. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to College Park Church.

Online condolences may be shared Arrangements have been entrusted to Flanner and Buchanan-Zionsville.


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