Brooks Buderus 1918-2010
A TOAST IN HONOR OF BROOKS
Offered by Mark, Matt, David and Paul Thompson, Audrey’s sons (July 8, 2010)
Brooks loved sports, especially the teams of his beloved alma mater, the University of Michigan. When the Wolverines failed to live up to his lofty expectations, he would become the cranky fan, spewing out a lengthy list of coaching errors and player mistakes unbecoming of a squad from the storied institution. Soon Audrey would pour him another cocktail and Brooks would slowly revert back to himself as the sting of defeat was overcome by quality liqueur. And when his team left the field victorious, he would raise a glass in celebration, secure in the thought that he had done his part to help will them to victory.
He also loved music with a passion that few of us understand. He carefully collected records, and then began converting his albums onto cassette tapes. He maintained meticulous catalogues of every recording he owned and was able to delve deeper into the music through his record keeping. Brooks would often sit quietly and intently listen to jazz or classical recordings for hours at a time. He gave the music his undivided attention in an effort to hear the real spirit, the soul of whatever piece was he was listening to.
Audrey and Brooks loved to gather with their friends to enjoy great food and drink as well as lively conversation. Audrey is the master chef and Brooks was smart enough to stay out of the kitchen, content to make sure that everyone had a full glass and that a good time was had by all. Brooks wasn’t bashful about sharing his views on a variety of subjects. There was never a question of where he stood on an issue. But once you gained him as your friend, he was a loyal compatriot who would stand with you through thick and thin.
He also loved the arts, not unusual for a man who devoted his work career to designing beautiful buildings that dazzled the eye while serving the utilitarian needs of the occupants. Brooks loved beauty in paintings, jewelry and sculptures. But if he were here right now, so that we could ask him about the true beauty in his life, there is no doubt that his answer would be—Audrey.
Finally, he cared deeply about his children and grew to love Audrey’s sons, which many say can be a difficult task. Family was important, yet Brooks yearned to live life on his terms. With Audrey by his side, they ventured out into a brave new world, building a life together that has deeply touched all of you gathered here tonight—as well as their families and their friends in the States. Not a day went by in recent years without Brooks thinking about his brother, whom he lost in World War II in the Pacific. He asked that his remains be placed in the Pacific Ocean, so in the end, he would be with his brother again.
Lift your glasses high tonight on Audrey and Brooks’ 41st wedding anniversary, and shed no tears, for Brooks wants us to celebrate, not mourn his passing. He had a great run and surely appreciates all of you for making his life so special, meaningful and entertaining. Let us drink to our friend, Brooks Buderus, as we promise to keep his memory with us always.