Obituary: Vicki Brooks
January 11, 1944 – September 23, 2023
Vicki Brooks was born in Los Angeles in 1944. She was the oldest of two sisters.
After graduating from the University of Oregon, she joined the Peace Corps and was a teacher in Tanzania, East Africa. For many years she was an elementary teacher in private schools in California, and then assisted Angela Foster at the Aspen Community School when it was located in town (before it moved to Woody Creek).
In 1967, Vicki married Larry Brooks, and although they eventually divorced, they remained very close friends. In 1971, Vicki met Steve Killey in Aspen and they moved back to California and had a son, Alder. Vicki returned to Aspen with her young son in 1977 and lived here full time for 20 years and later lived here part time for many summers. To the end, Steve and his wife Abby maintained a friendship and connection with Vicki.
In Aspen, for the first seven years, Vicki had a private practice in therapeutic massage (Jin Shin Do). She then got her Real Estate Broker’s License and practiced for 10 years, selling homes and land. Although being a broker was very competitive, her fellow brokers were exceptional people, and many became close friends.
Vicki gave back to the Aspen community for over 20 years by volunteering and supporting the Aspen Music Festival, the Aspen Institute, Grassroots Aspen Experience, The Sunshine Kids, Aspen Community Theatre (she was an actor in Under Milkwood, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Sound of Music), sang tenor in Handel’s Messiah every year in the Aspen Community Chorus with the late Ray Adams – all programs she loved dearly.
Vicki was also passionate about books and joined a wonderful women’s book club that she was a member of for the years she lived here full-time.
Her love of hiking in the summers, downhill and X/C skiing in the winters also gave her life so much joy.
Vicki made lifelong, deeply cherished friendships with so many people in this valley.
In 1997, Vicki was hired at Stanford University to work for the renowned Civil Rights Historian, Professor Clayborne Carson, on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project (now the M.L.K. Jr. Research and Education Institute). She spent 20 years volunteering for The Stanford Parents Club, The Alumni Association, and the International Center’s CCIS program. She also took over 43 Continuing Education courses taught by Stanford Professors. And she attended many seminars, conferences and open lunch lectures at The Law School, CDDRL, FSI, The Business School and the Medical School – a lifelong learner! Her close friends in Palo Alto and at Stanford meant so much to her.
Vicki is survived by her son, her beloved granddaughter, her wonderful sister and brother-in-law, her beautiful twin nieces, her four smart and handsome grand nephews and her cousins.
She passed away peacefully in Aspen, was buried surrounded by loved ones and is resting in peace in Aspen. A celebration of Vicki’s life may be held at a later date in Aspen.
Donations may be made in her memory to Hospice of the Valley, hchotv.charityproud.org/Donate.