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Aug. 15, 1925 – April 30, 2013

Helen M. Brooks, a longtime registered nurse and homemaker, died unexpectedly Tuesday in the home of a daughter in Portsmouth, Va. She was 87.

A Buffalo resident, the former Helen M. Johnson was born in Birmingham, Ala., where she graduated from Parker High School. Mrs. Brooks left the South to pursue a dream of becoming a registered nurse and graduated from Bayonne (N.J.) Nursing School, an affiliate of Seton Hall University. She then married her husband, Joseph J., and moved to Buffalo. Mr. Brooks died in 1981.

During a nursing career that spanned more than 40 years, Mrs. Brooks was a labor and delivery nurse for Children’s Hospital, a nurse for the health clinic of Buffalo State College, the in-charge nurse for hospice at Buffalo General Hospital and also a private-duty nurse.

Her son, Joseph R., noted his mother worked two jobs to put her children through school.

“She was an inspiration to everyone she came into contact with and overly passionate about helping people,” her son added.

Survivors in addition to her son include two daughters, Cheryl M. Perry and Lisa M.; six sisters, Catherine Conwell, Ruby Dunn, Jacqueline Young, Cynthia Robertson, Ethel Kline and Peggy Johnson; and three brothers, Edward Johnson, Raynell Johnson and Pernell Johnson.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Agape AME Church, 224 Northland Ave., preceded by a prayer service at 10.