Cover photo for Verna Tammi Brooks's Obituary
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1923 Verna 2023

Verna Tammi Brooks

November 24, 1923 — June 15, 2023

Verna Tammi Brooks, age 99, of Detroit Lakes, MN passed away June 15, 2023 at Oak Crossing Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes, MN. 

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, 2023, at the Calumet Community Presbyterian Church in Calumet, MN.  Visitation 1 hour prior to service.  Pastor Dorothy Duquette Officiate.

Verna was born November 24, 1923, to Frank Lynn and Florence (Loucks) Hemphill in Motley, MN.  At the age of 6 years old, Verna and her family moved to Togo, MN.  She attended school in Togo through the tenth grade.  At this time in her life, she had the opportunity to move to a larger town which was Grand Rapids, MN and stayed with a family as a nanny while earning her diploma.  Verna graduated from Grand Rapids high School with the Class of 1942.  Following Graduation, Verna set out for Duluth, MN with her friend, Sadie and worked for a time then headed by train to Seattle, WA and started working for Boeing Company and started out as “Rosie the Riverters” and ended up washing and painting B-17 Bombers during WWII.  She stayed in Seattle until 1945, then came back to Minnesota after the war, only to make her way to Milwaukee with another friend, Lempi, and worked for a while at Signal Battery on the assembly line, stating it was quite an experience.  On a visit home, she ran into a hometown guy who was on leave from the service and on May 4, 1946, she married Robert Tammi in Grand Rapids, MN after he was discharged from the U.S. Army.  Verna and Bob enjoyed 38 wonderful years together.  From this marriage daughter Lynette and son Larry were born.  Verna and Bob made their home in Iron Range Township, Bovey, MN for 25 years. 

After the Danube Mine closed, where Bob had worked, Bob and Verna moved to Hoyt Lakes, MN in 1974 where he worked for Erie Mining Company until his retirement.  While there, they made many new friends, and even though they enjoyed the area, they missed friends and relatives from the Iron Range and eventually moved back to their original area, settling in Taconite, MN until Bob’s passing in 1984. 

In April 16, 1987, Verna married Eugene Brooks, eloping with her sister and brother-in-law as witnesses, to the Little Brown Church in Iowa.  This was the start of many new adventures and another beautiful chapter in Verna’s life.  

Marrying Eugene, Verna acquired a whole other family with stepchildren and step grandchildren.  They were “Winter Texans”, traveling to Mission, TX and making their home there for 6 months out of the year for more than 20 years, getting away from the Minnesota Winters.  Many friends were made and more great memories.  When end of October rolled around, they were packed and heading south.  Over the years, they traveled the 50 states and making trips to Alaska with their camper.  Fishing and camping were favorites in the summer.  They always had time to spend with their kids, grandkids and always had the welcome sign out for anyone who wanted to stop for a visit and the coffee was on.  In 2015, Verna and Gene decided to downsize from a house and move to an apartment in Detroit Lakes, MN near daughter Lynette and her husband, Bob, and grandkids.  Gene passed away in 2019 after 31 years of marriage.  

Verna was a loving, caring, fun, dedicated mother and wife.  She was a stay-at-home Mom and believed in family first.  She dearly loved her children and always made time for playing, making snowmen, playing football, dress up, hide and go seek, to name a few.  Books were also very important to Verna, and there were plenty of books at the house.  She was happy and eager to relax and read a book with one of her kids.  She was a strong woman who ran the home and loved with her whole heart and had an amazing sense of humor.  Also, Church was a must on Sundays.  At 99 years of age, Verna lived a long life, enjoying her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.  She showed each of them special attention and five generations of love and left them with great memories, such as making her famous animal pancakes.  Verna’s life has left a legacy to her family, setting an example that life should be lived to the fullest with plenty of love and laughter and remembering always family first.  She loved playing cribbage, cards, bowling, fishing, dancing, camping and traveling. 

Verna is survived by her loving family, daughter Lynette (Robert) Cogger, daughter-in-law Debbie Tammi, sister Jeanne Johnson, step-children Cheryl (Mike) Mandy, Deborah (Ron) L’Amie, Roberta Cieklinski, Donald (Diane) Brooks and James (Cathy) Brooks, four grandchildren, Jodi Ellingson, Tanya (Gary) Grindall, Jeremy (McKenna) Tammi, Travis (Mindy) Tammi, 8 step-grandchildren – Eddy (Tonya) Mandy, Brenna (Eric) Gunderson, Brooks  L’Amie, Alex (Katie) L’Amie, Andrea (Ross) Cieklinski, Neil Brooks, Gloria Brooks, Dean (Carrie) Brooks and 19 great grandchildren and 6 great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.   

Verna is preceded in death by first husband Robert September 20, 1984 and second husband Eugene March 25, 2019 son Larry June 5, 2002, siblings Vera, Dorothy, Lloyd, Edward, one step-son-in-law Tom Cieklinski.

Verna is now smiling in Heaven.  To know her was to LOVE her!

Burial will take place at Bearville Cemetery Togo, MN. 


Donations can be made to:

Hospice of the Red River Valley Blue Team, 1701 38th St South, Ste 101, Fargo, ND 58103-4499

Shriner Children’s Hospital

Am Vets




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