Cover photo for John Hilary Brooks's Obituary

John Hilary Brooks

John Hilary Brooks

passed away on August 12


, 2021, after a long battle with cancer. He was loved and cared for by his family in the months preceding his death.

John was born April 8, 1942, in Bolton, England. At the age of 12 he immigrated to the U.S. with his parents and two siblings. John grew up in sunny southern California in Pacific Palisades. He earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University Northridge in Business Administration.

He entered the Air Force at the age of 23 and quickly realized his passion for aviation. He spent 20 years in the Air Force as a pilot, flying C-141’s, T-43’s, H19’s, UH1N’s and CH3’s. In 1981 he earned his master’s degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. John is a Vietnam Veteran, serving one tour as a helicopter pilot. He was a member of the “Pony Express” – a highly classified group that was stationed close to the boarder of North Vietnam, charged with flying supplies into enemy territory, along with retrieving wounded soldiers. The pilots selected for the Pony Express were the most experienced CH-3B/C pilots in the air force at that time. John retired from the Air Force in 1985 with the rank of Major.

Upon retiring from the Air Force, John became a commercial airline pilot, flying 737’s for America West Airlines for 17 years. John married the love of his life, Cheryl, in 1984. Their “Brady Bunch” family of three kids each moved together to Arizona in 1985 when John began working for America West Airlines.

John retired from the airline industry in 2002 and enjoyed spending many years at their family home in Gilbert – cooking big family dinners, entertaining his fourteen grandchildren, and taking long road trips with his sweetheart.

John is survived by his wife of 37 years, Cheryl Brooks, children Lori & Tony Robson, Ed & Dena Brooks, Jeff & Letty Stringham, Jim & Katie Stringham, Jeremy & Karine Brooks and Leslie Brooks & Brandon Chang, along with his fourteen grandchildren – Katie, Nicholas, Breanna, Joey, Jessie, Russel, Annie, Kieran, James, Hayden, Kelsey, Addy, Russell, and Jase, and his two great-grandchildren Foster and Hudson.

Military Honors:

Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (three oak leaf clusters)

Distinguished Flying Cross (one oak leaf cluster)

AF Commendation Medal (two oak leaf clusters)

Distinguished-Presidential Unit Citation, AF Outstanding Unit Award

Unit Award with Valor (five oak leaf clusters)

Combat Readiness Medal, National Service Medal

Vietnam Service Medal (four service stars)

AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon (four oak leaf clusters)

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Hilary Brooks, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 28

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree