Mary Alice VanRy Brooks, 66, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at her home on November 11, 2020 in Melbourne, FL. She was born in Oneida, NY to Ruth Stephenson VanRy and Charles VanRy of Camden, NY. She is survived by her husband Steve Brooks, daughters Emily Brooks (Daniel Bessler) of Melbourne, FL and Alana Brooks (Dan Ernenwein) of Hickory, NC, granddaughters Caroline and Kennedy Bessler of Melbourne, FL, siblings, Barbara (Don) Klem of Auburn, NY, Richard (Melanie) VanRy of Port Leyden, NY, and Dutch (Glenda) VanRy of Piffard, NY. She is predeceased by her sister Betty Ann Moore (Gordon) of Camden, NY. She graduated from Camden High School in 1972, attended SUNY Geneseo for her undergraduate degree, and received her Master’s of Science in Education from SUNY Potsdam.
Mary was a devoted mother, wife, and beloved third grade teacher for 34 years at Beaver River Central School where she directed and produced summer theatre, coached tennis, and served as a coach for Odyssey of the Mind. She was an active member of Beta Sigma Phi service sorority and continued her philanthropic work into retirement, volunteering as a seamstress for the Cocoa Village Playhouse and raising funds for the Lewis County Historical Society, Lewis County Humane Society, and Friends of Hospice of Lewis County. She was a talented artist, avid baker, and enjoyed crafting, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren.
Mary will best be known for her wonderful sense of humor, boundless optimism, and dedication to her family, friends, and students. Per her request, no memorial services will be held. She just wants you to think of her when you’re crafting, making cookies, hanging her handmade ornaments on your tree at Christmas time, watching Jeopardy, reading a book she loved, or just reminiscing about your favorite memories with her. Her laughter, her smile, her character, and sometimes her lack of filter, made this world a better place. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.