Stephen M. Brooks, broadcast specialist

May 2, 2013

Stephen M. Brooks, 72, who began his career as a radio broadcaster and later served as the announcer for Army bands and as director of film and radio production for the Department of the Interior, died March 27 at a hospital in Nashville.

He had complications from diabetes, his wife, Barbara Payne, said.

Mr. Brooks first came to Washington in the 1960s as a radio journalist and talk-show host. He worked for several Washington area radio and television stations, including WAVA, WQMR and WDCA, as well as WFRE in Frederick.

Beginning in 1965, Mr. Brooks served in the Army for several years as the chief writer and announcer for touring Army bands.

In the 1970s, he held executive positions with the U.S. Postal Service in Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington.

From 1981 to 1986, Mr. Brooks lived in Alaska, where he worked for the Bureau of Land Management. While there, he also established a radio station in Wasilla, Alaska, and served as president of a broadcast company.

In 1986, Mr. Brooks returned to Washington, where he worked in the office of the secretary of the Interior as director of broadcast operations. He established a public service program, “Salute to America,” that featured many leading figures in country and pop music. He retired in 2005.

Stephen Marc Brooks was born in New York City. He graduated from St. John’s University in the early 1960s and also studied acting and announcing.

Mr. Brooks received many awards for his work and was a member of the Masons.

He lived in Lovettsville before retiring to Lebanon, Tenn.

His first marriage, to the former Sandra Langdon, ended in divorce.

His second wife, the former Kathryn Mayer, died in 1993. Their daughter, Ellen Brooks, died in infancy in 1987.

Survivors include his wife of eight years, Barbara Payne of Lebanon; a daughter from his first marriage, Susan Brooks Valenta of Wyckoff, N.J.; a son from his second marriage; Edward Brooks of Watertown, Tenn.; a sister; and a grandson.

— Matt Schudel

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