Ben Brooks posted a “classic” photo of his parents on Facebook, taken in Cade’s Cove in 1969, along with a current photo (shown here). The newer picture was taken on Mother’s Day 2023 at the Chop House.
Harry and Mary Brooks are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.
Harry Brooks represented District 19 in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 2002 to 2021. Somebody asked Mary what she planned to do while Harry was in Nashville. She said why she was going to Nashville too, to take care of Harry. Sure enough, the Brookses got a motor home and the district got two for the price of one.
Harry Brooks served on the Knox County school board before his election to the legislature. He graduated from Carson Newman College and received a graduate degree from the University of Tennessee. He retired from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and was a business employer before pursuing politics. He carried his interest in children and education into his legislative work, and was appointed to chair the House Education Committee in 2009.
Mary Brooks has lived all her life in the Ritta community on property that has been in her family since the 1840s. Mary Harrell got a bachelor’s degree from Carson Newman College and a master’s from the University of Tennessee. She taught history and geography in Knox County Schools for 33 years, retiring in 2001. She taught at Ritta Elementary, Gibbs Middle and High, Vine Middle and West High. Since retiring, she works part-time as a travel agent, specializing in cruising.