Emma D. Brooks, 71, the "mother of the year" of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations in 1979, a volunteer in numerous church and service groups and a retired employe of the Department of the Army, died of renal failure Thursday at the Washington Hospital Center.

Mrs. Brooks, who lived in Washington all of her life, graduated from Armstrong High School and attended George Washington University and the Department of Agriculture Graduate Center.

About 1949, when her 10 children were in school, she began a career with the federal government. She worked for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and then for the Department of the Army, where she was a supervisor in procurement work until she retired in the early 1970s.

Mrs. Brooks was a president of the board of directors of Hospitality House Inc., an educational organization, a president of the H Street PAC, and a member of the board of the D.C. Girl Scout Council. She also was a member of the parish of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and its first woman lector. She was a president of the Sodality Union and was active in other church groups, including the Secretariat of Black Catholics, the Legion of Mary, the Ladies of Charity and the Prison Ministry. She was a volunteer with the United Givers Fund, D.C. General and Capitol Hill hospitals and other organizations.

Her husband, Robert Brooks, died in 1962. A daughter, Anita Nash, died in 1965.

Survivors include five daughters, Barbara Humphries and Patricia Coombs, both of Washington, Marcellina Brooks of Laurel, Janet Point of Upper Marlboro, and Clarice Jackson of Orange, N.J.; four sons, Edwin, Bernard, Anthony and David, all of Washington; six brothers, Edward, Kingsley, DeWitt, Maurice and Quentin Davis, all of Washington, and Robert Davis of Clemons, Md.; four sisters, Lucille Dunmore, Irma Booker, Adrienne Wheeler and Gladys Thompson, all of Washington; 29 grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.