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Bertha May Brooks

November 8, 1926 ~ May 29, 2018 (age 91)
Bertha May Cochran Brooks, 91, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 surrounded by her loving family at the Westerly Health Center. She was the wife of the late Joseph Cochran and Spurgeon “Spud” Brooks.
Bertha was born on November 8, 1926 in Foster, RI to the late William C. and Bertha May (Cook) Knight.
Bertha will be sadly missed by her five daughters; Judith Cochran Laperle and her husband Norman, Patricia Caddick and her husband John, Carol Cochran Verzillo and her husband Frank, Barbara Cochran Read, and Diane Cochran Duke and her husband John. She also leaves 17 grandchildren; Sheri Laperle, Darcy Laperle Strauss (Jim), Michelle Verzillo Carpenter (Sean), Marissa Verzillo Catalan (David), Megan Verzillo Vazquez (Victor), Debra Brooks, Manson Chipper Brooks, Shannon Brooks, Crystal Shawn, Candy Read, Cindy Read, Sharmin Stage, Cherish Rios, Johnny Read, Johnny Duke, Lisa Marie Duke, Jerry Allen Duke, and Elvis Aron Duke; 36 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son-in-law; Ronald Read and her brothers and sisters; twin brothers, Alfred and Bradford, Harold, Nellie Corinda, Albert, Dorothy Mae, William Clark, Lester Howard, Almon Wilbur, Flora Belle, James Warren, Kenneth Allen and Richard Donald.

Bertha lived with her family in Scituate, RI for many years before relocating to the Hope Valley area where she raised a family of her own. In her early years, she was employed as a textile worker at Harrisville, Shannock, and Flytex, all textile mills in the local Westerly area.
After moving to Texas with her husband, Spurgeon Brook, she worked as a groundskeeper for the Parks and Recreation Service, a job she really enjoyed.
She loved the outdoors, and one of her pleasures was walking. In the late 1990’s, Bertha was confined to a wheelchair, as a result of a stroke. However, she had a very strong will to live and possessed a will power that is second to none. She was kind hearted and compassionate to her family and to others. She had great since of humor and a quick wit about her that kept everyone who knew her on their toes. She enjoyed country music and watching old movies.
Bertha looked forward to “girl’s night out” with her daughters, which brightened her day. Her very favorite spot was The Cove restaurant where she enjoyed her chowder and liked to visit with the staff who served her with a very special touch.
She was also quite an avid jigsaw puzzle enthusiast and had a definite strategy for completing the task. She was not very fond of anyone placing the pieces without her consent, except her grandchildren, of course. Just one look was all it took for anyone to get the message; they better just leave those pieces alone! She also enjoyed Bingo and other recreational activities at the Westerly Health Center.
Her family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the entire staff at the Westerly Health Center for all of the care and compassion Bertha received from them over the past few years.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, June 29, 2018 from 4-7pm at the Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St., Westerly, RI. Burial will be private at the First Hopkinton Cemetery in Ashaway, RI.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Bertha’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, or to the American Heart Association. For online condolences, please visit
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