Thomas Edward Broock (11/23/41 - 11/5/22) grew up in Montebello, California, the son of Leon and Evelyn Broock, teachers who retired to Brookings in the 1960's. He had the distinction of being an Eagle Scout.
Tom's wife, Paula, fi rst met Tom during one of his visits to Brookings while he was on leave from the Army. She had quite a crush on him. He moved to the Boston, MA area, where he met his fi rst wife, Janey, and they were married for 40 years. He was a member of ATA (American Translators Association) and worked as a translator of Indonesian (primarily), Thai, Malay, and German documents, and publications. He worked with translation team members in other parts of the country and in Indonesia.
He learned German at UC Santa Barbara, where he earned a BA in German, and lived in Germany for a time as an exchange student, where he also helped conduct church services in German. Since he had shown an aptitude for learning a foreign language, the Army sent him to The Institute of Modern Languages to learn Malay and he learned Thai at AWA Language Center while stationed in Thailand. He later received a master’s degree (MBA) at Babson College in Massachusetts.
Tom and Paula reconnected after their spouses passed on a month apart in 2010. His sister and Paula's parents had harbored secret hopes that they would fi nally get together. When told of their engagement, Paula's mother said they were making her the happiest mother-in-law in the world.
Those who have known Tom will be able to relate to the words Paula wrote to Tom in her third anniversary card to him: "I just have to try to tell you - even though words are totally inadequate in any language, that you have become such a huge integral part of my life. I absolutely love every moment I'm with you. You are joy, and love, and thoughtfulness, and caring, and lovingkindness personifi ed. You defi ne exactly what a 'support system' should be. You bring clarity to all of our activities and discussions. You are fun to be with - whether we're out among other people or by ourselves in whatever setting. You inspire me. You bring such meaning to everything. I want to grow into eternity with you. I love you; I adore you; I respect you; I cherish you. Heart surges have grown to new heights and have taken on a whole new meaning. My heart has had to expand to accommodate being with you. What a joy!!! I love you more each day."
When asked about special highlights in Tom's life, the easy answer is "the way he lived his life in general." He was an old-world gentleman, he was loyal, honest, loving, kind, intelligent, supportive, thoughtful, a genuine bright light. He was loved and respected by virtually all who met him. What a privilege and joy to have had Tom in our lives. He was a man of deep faith, and lived his life accordingly, following the Golden Rule, in his professional, religious, and private life. He was beloved in his church family as well as in the community.
When Tom fi rst moved to Brookings, Paula's niece and brother talked him into taking on the small singing role of a British naval offi cer in a pirate play. Ever since, when Tom would encounter grazing deer around their home, he would sing the pirate song to them, and they would settle right down. The looks on their faces was "Oh, him again." Those deer were standing by as Tom left his home for the last time.
Tom is survived by his wife, Paula Broock, and his sister, Carolyn Self.