Dr. R. Brooks Gainer, II, 74, of Morgantown, died Thursday, March 29, 2018, in the J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.
He was born June 29, 1943, in Clarksburg, West Virginia, to the late R. Brooks Gainer and Geraldine Haggerty Gainer.
He is survived by his daughters and their husbands, Kristin (Conrad) Hamrick and Shelby Gainer (Jamie Weber), and his grandchildren: Hunter Hamrick, Abigail Weber, Harrison Hamrick, Avery Weber, Kelcey Hamrick, Henley Weber, and his special grandson Captain John Maxell. He also is survived by his sister and her husband, Sondra Lee Gainer (Dennis) Koon, and his niece Melissa Dawn Koon, as well as his Aunt Eva Haggerty Newlon and Uncle Bernard Haggerty, several loving cousins, extended nieces and nephews, a host of dear friends, and his large bunch of dogs and cats.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Suzanne Powell Gainer, who passed away last August; and his in-laws, Deward G. Powell and Ruth Lawson Powell.
Brooks graduated from Washington Irving (WI) High School in 1961, where he began his healthcare career as the first student trainer in the state of West Virginia, before attending West Virginia University. At WVU, he continued his work in athletic training and began his love of Mountaineer sports. He also met the love of his life, Suzanne Powell, whom he married on June 6, 1965. Brooks was involved with the First Presbyterian Church in Clarksburg, and then in Morgantown, where he held various positions.
After graduating from WVU School of Medicine in 1969, he did post-graduate training in Akron, Ohio, before returning to WVU to complete his internal medicine residency and his fellowship in infectious diseases. Brooks joined the Morgantown Internal Medicine Group (MIMG) in 1974 and worked at Monongalia General Hospital. He was also an associate clinical professor of medicine at WVU, as well as an infectious disease and epidemiologist consultant for several hospitals and organizations. Brooks was an active member of the Monongalia County Medical Society.
In 2005, he retired from MIMG and shifted his primary focus from caring for people to caring for animals. In 2008, he began volunteering with Mountaineer Spay Neuter Assistance Program (M-SNAP). Initially a volunteer at the ReTails thrift shop, he soon began driving fundraising efforts, planning events, and later becoming the organization’s president.
Brooks was a true Mountaineer fan who was a fixture at games and events and a frequent caller into the WVU sports radio shows. He was a Varsity Club member and a great supporter of the Pride of West Virginia.
Brooks lived his life committed to his passions. He loved his patients and his community: as a physician, he devoted 48 years in service, and as a citizen, he gave himself to the many organizations and charities he represented. He was always ready and willing to help out anyone in need. Brooks was forever dedicated to WI and his former classmates, and as a Mountaineer, he pledged unwavering loyalty to all teams that donned the old gold and blue. Above all, Brooks adored his wife, his family, and his friends.
Arrangements are being handled by Hastings Funeral Home. A memorial service to celebrate Brooks’ life will be held Saturday, May 19, at Erickson Alumni Center, 1 Alumni Drive, Morgantown, WV 26505. The family will receive visitors at 1 p.m., followed by the service at 2 p.m. A reception will immediately follow. Attendees are welcome to wear gold and blue to honor Brooks’ love of WVU.
In lieu of flowers, his family suggests a tribute donation in his name to any of these organizations: M-SNAP Inc., P.O. Box 4335, Morgantown, WV 26504 (http://www.m-snap.org/); The WVU Medical School Annual Scholarship Fund; The Pride Travel Fund. Contributions to the WVU organizations can be sent to WVU Foundation, One Waterfront Place – 7th Floor, P.O. Box 1650, Morgantown, WV 26507-1650.
In Brooks’ memory, the family asks that you do as he did: Love, Give, and Live. Please love and treasure your family and friends, find ways to give back to others, including animals, and always cheer loud and proud for WVU.
Finally, the family would like to thank: the staff and fans at the WVU Coliseum, the EMTs, and the staff at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital for their attention and care during his last 12 hours; his two lifelong friends for hanging in with him until his daughters could arrive; and his friends, especially those in the animal community, for helping with his beloved dogs and cats during this very difficult time and transition. Brooks would be so proud and honored to see how many have stepped up to help in his time of need!
Online condolences may be made at www.hastingsfuneralhome.com