Obituary: Rachel Elizabeth Couch Brooks

Age 96, of Pittsburgh, PA died June 18, 2021. She leaves a remarkable legacy of love, family, and service. She was born in Chase City, VA on February 22, 1925, to Lula Moss Couch Hardy and Richard Henry Couch Jr. Rachel enjoyed teaching, community service, and her girlfriends and service clubs including the Omega Wives of Omega Psi Phi, the Northeasterners – Pittsburgh Chapter, Peter Pan Club for African American Children, and the “So What’s” Pinochle Card Club.

Rachel attended Thyne Institute High School in 1942 in Chase City, Virginia. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Business from Virginia State University and received a master’s degree in Business Education from the
University of Pittsburgh. In 1948, she married the love of her life, Earl Leigh Brooks in Washington, DC. Rachel and Earl were happily married for 45 years. Rachel had an extraordinary career as well. She began her career at the Pittsburgh Courier in the Editorial Department reporting to the Managing Editor. In her tenure, she met and interviewed Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughn, Joe Louis, Lena Horne, Dinah Washington, Billie Eckstein, and Benjamin Mays. After the birth of her first child, she began working at the Allegheny County Housing Authority and Pittsburgh Action Housing Economic Development.

Rachel became a teacher in Business Education in 1968 and then developed the Business Education curriculum for the Pittsburgh Middle Schools. In 1973, she was promoted to Supervisor of Business Education for Pittsburgh Public Schools and nominated for the State of Pennsylvania Board of Education.

Rachel retired from education in 1989. After a few years traveling to see the world, Rachel touched many more lives. She opened her home and her heart generously to family and friends. She was an amazing cook, devoted mother, grandmother, aunt, and great grandmother. Her spirit, her light, and her love will be greatly missed. She was preceded in in death by her husband, Earl L. Brooks, Sr.; two brothers, Lewis Zachery Couch and Richard Henry Couch, II; three sisters, Margaretta Jackson Cummings Palmer, Marie Giles Davis, and Rosalie Couch; niece, Gail Jackson Ratliff and nephew, Richard Henry Couch, IV. Surviving her are her three devoted children, Donna Brooks Lucas (Wilfred), Earl L. Brooks, Jr. (Cheryl) and Autumn Laurie Brooks; four grandchildren, Brooke Taylor Spearmon (Shaun), James Marc Brown, Kristin Courtney Brown Riggs (Durand) and Ryan Wilfred Lucas; and five great-grandchildren, Ava Noelle Spearmon, Olivia Hope Spearmon, Vaughn Allen Spearmon, Leilani Laurie Riggs, and Matthew Randall Riggs; six nieces, Joyce Giles Robinson, Sandra Mobley-Terry, Jackie Trice Hoyer, Jeannette Trice Giannetta, and Angela Brooks Cook; two nephews, Johnnie Couch and Milton Earl Brooks; and many loving grandnieces, nephews, and cousins.

Rachel was a member of Homewood United Presbyterian, held leadership positions at Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. Rachel was our grand matriarch. Her memory will be cherished forever. Visitation with the family and Celebration of Life were held Friday, June 25, 2021, at East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Alzheimer’s Association in memory of Rachel Couch Brooks.

Arrangements by Robinson Funeral Home, Inc. 2025 Perrysville Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15214.

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