Ebba Adella Brooks


Ebba Adella Brooks (nee Johnson) was dedicated to her family and friends, an avid birder and naturalist, an exceptional hostess, and a woman of great resolve and kindness. She passed away in Duluth, MN on January 12, 2021 just three weeks shy of her 102nd birthday.

Ebba was born on February 1, 1919 in Glen Township, Aitkin County, MN. She was the fourth of eight children born to John B. and Della Storm Johnson. Ebba attended Clear Lake School, and Aitkin High School, graduating in 1937. She was the Secretary as well as the Salutatorian of her senior class. After high school, Ebba attended Augsburg College where she met fellow student Chester Brooks. After graduating in 1942, and with Chester serving as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne in Europe, Ebba began teaching high school in Marietta and Wheaton, MN. She planned to teach Biology and English, her college majors, but she also taught Math. After the war, Ebba and Chester were married on June 29, 1946.

When Chester got his first job with the National Park Service in 1950 as historian at Theodore Roosevelt NP, Ebba became a true partner in his career. Their home from then on was a hub for entertaining everyone from visiting scientists to dignitaries such as Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter and family. Her hostess role continued with every move, and appeared effortless whether it was in the Badlands of North Dakota or the heart of the city in Philadelphia. With each new assignment, Ebba got the family settled in a new house, kids enrolled in school, piano lessons and scouts, found a church, and involved herself in the local community. Each new home brought new friends, new bird species to the feeder, and opportunities to learn all she could about the new area.

Ebba and Chester moved to Duluth in 1983 following his retirement from Rocky Mountain NP in Estes Park, CO. They loved their new home, and in addition to being active grandparents, immediately became involved with a new church, Swedish Cultural Society, and Duluth’s Sister City program with Vaxjo, Sweden.

Ebba was preceded in death by her husband Chester; parents; four brothers; and one sister.

Ebba is survived by her four children, Roger (Carol) Brooks of Concord, NH, Nancy Sailstad of Duluth, MN, Anne (Brian) Adams of Durham, NC, and Barrett (Janet Stoeke) Brooks of Fairfax, VA; 13 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandson; two sisters; many nieces and nephews; and her cat, Emma.

A service to honor our beloved Ebba will be held at a later date at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Aitkin, MN. The date will be set when we can all once again gather safely.

Memorials can be made to Animal Allies of Duluth, MN; Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association of Medora, ND; Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Duluth, MN; Swedish Cultural Society of Duluth, MN, or the charity of your choice.

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