Donald's Life

A Wonderful Life

On September 28, 2011 Don was received in heaven to meet his Lord and Savior.  He quietly and peacefully passed away at home after a long struggle with Parkinson and Alzheimer's disease.  Vonnay, his wife of 46 years, was by his side. 

Born in Los Angeles, California on July 7, 1938 to Rulon and Ruth Brook.  During his childhood, Don was an Eagle Scout.  He was chosen to go to Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico for survival training.  Don marched in the Rose Parade as a flag-bearer.  Scout training was very special to him and he carried the motto of "Being Prepared" with him all of his life.  Scout training gave him a passion for knot tying and organizational skills that benefited him in his personal and professional life.

Don attended and graduated California High School in Whitter in 1956.  He then went on and obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from Whitter College. He received his Master's Degree in Mathematics from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  

His first teaching profession was at Nogales High School in La Puente.  He quickly became head of the Math Department.  He then moved into higher learning and became a Math Professor at Mount San Antonio College (Mt. Sac) in Walnut. Once again he rose to the Math Department Chair.  It was during his tenure at Mt. Sac, where he wrote math books and manuals that were used by the State of California for college entrance exams.

He had an intense love of math, sharing and solving problems, equations and puzzles. This passion could become evident at any time, even in the middle of the night, when he would wake Vonnay to tell her about a math theorem.  His desire to share math was clearly evident during family gatherings.  He loved to challenge us with a fun mathematical games or puzzles.

Don was a man devoted to his family and to the Lord.  His Christian faith unwavering in God's Will.  For many years, Don was an influential leader the church youth programs. Grown out of his scout past, Don loved hiking and nature.  Throughout his three children's lives, he would assist in taking the youth groups on hikes around California.  Some hikes were daily hikes up Mount Baldy or to Lytle Creek. His enthusiasm for nature sparked interest in the church youth to try week-long backpacking trips into the Sierra Mountains.  For many years, Yosemite was the premier church youth group travel destination.

He had a quiet gentle sense of humor that could be overlooked if not for the sparkle in his eyes and the smirk of a smile that would appear on his face.  His subtle but innocence humor on life's ordinary events left you amused in a light playful manner.  In addition to his humorous insight into life experiences, his other interests included dancing with his wife, playing bridge with close friends, canoeing,  and sailing. 

Don is survived by his wife, Vonnay, his oldest son Jeff  and his wife Denise; their daughter Alycia and her husband Kris and three great-grandchildren, and Jeff's son John-Mark; his second son Chad and his wife Terri and their son Tyler-Donald; his daughter Dannielle and her two children Zack and Ashley; and his brother Ray Brook and spouse Gay.

Service Details

Service will be at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 2323 Las Lomitas Drive, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745.  The service is on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 1:30pm.

A second service will be held at Peace Lutheran Church, 828 West Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945.  The service is on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 2pm.

Please be aware that one or both services may have an internet live feed.  More on this to come.