Richard Lamar Brooks

Richard Lamar Brooks

Richard Lamar Brooks was born in Winnfield, Louisiana, on September 21, 1940, and died at home the morning of March 1, 2022. He leaves behind his devoted wife Judy and wonderful daughter Catie. He excelled at piano competitions starting at age 6 and, throughout his life, loved listening to classical music on his piano. As a creative child, Richard designed clothes for popsicle sticks, a precursor to his life’s work. After high school, he attended LSU where he was Drum Major for five years, including their National Championship year, 1958. He was the first male to earn a Fashion degree from LSU.

After graduation, Richard was hired at Sears in Dallas where he became friends with the group manager, Charles Troyer, whose son-in-law introduced him to Judy. They dated for two years while she finished college and got married April 6, 1968, at Lovers Lane Methodist, when it was still on Lovers Lane. They moved to Memphis where he worked for Halpern’s, a family owned fabric store, where he was written up in Women’s Wear Daily for draping fabric on the ceiling. In October 1970, he bought McGees Quality Fabrics in Dallas on Lovers Lane and renamed it Richard Brooks Fabrics. Weeks later, his daughter Catie was born and her crib found a home in his office. He produced fashion shows with Vogue to benefit the Dallas Theater Center, hosting Bob Mackie, Arlene Dahl and Edith Head. In 1987, he moved the store to Preston Center, where he continued to design clothes for Dallas women. He designed the wardrobe for Governor Ann Richards, including the gown she wore when Queen Elizabeth visited Texas, allowing Richard and Judy the once in a lifetime chance to meet the Queen and Prince Philip.

Designing ball gowns for community and political leaders resulted in a special trip to the festivities of the George W. Bush inauguration. Richard’s talents ran the gamut from designing the interior of a plane, complete with garb for the guests, to creating wearable works of art for Gilmer, Texas, Yamboree queens, to making costumes for musicals at Greenhill School. He sold his store in 2006 to Jemal Mizan and it is still in business today as Richard Brooks.

Richard loved being outside, working in the yard and growing huge Azalea bushes that he cultivated using pine straw he collected by hand from his native Louisiana. He was greatly involved in Lovers Lane Methodist and was in charge of their Bicentennial celebration. He enjoyed traveling and felt fortunate to have seen much of the world, including China and Russia. He retired and moved to Allen, Texas, where he became a member of Suncreek United Methodist Church and loved all the staff and wonderful inclusive friends he met there.

He and Judy had a wonderful life together for over 53 years. She loved him and took care of him as much as she possibly could. He lived his life fully and as he wanted it! Richard loved holidays and family and is preceded in death by his parents Olive and JC Brooks, his brother Jimmy Brooks and cherished cousins, aunts and uncles and is survived by his brother and sister-in-law Don and Carol Brooks, daughter Catie’s partner Lance Bergstrom, his brother-in-law and sister-in-law JB and Dawn Brill, sister-in-law Audie Brooks, his cousins Bryan Barnard, Sparky and Brian Neely, Mark and Lisa Brooks and beloved nieces and nephews Sonja, Doug, Don, Jr., Steve, Scott and Laura Brooks, Petri and PJ Brill and Michelle Neely-Bartek and Kyle Neely.

Donations can be made to Suncreek UMC in Allen, Texas ,or the LSU Fashion Department.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Brooks family.

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