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John Brooks Supermarkets Mourns Death Of Founder

John H. Brooks

John H. Brooks, founder of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based John Brooks Supermarkets, died unexpectedly March 19 at the age of 82.

Currently, there are five John Brooks Supermarkets throughout New Mexico in Albuquerque, Milan, Ruidoso, Santa Fe and Socorro, providing jobs for 200 New Mexicans. John Brooks Supermarkets has always been a family business and the family does not anticipate any operational changes in the business.

Brooks started working at age 9 as a sacker in an independent grocery store and by age 19, he was a manager. Later, he worked for Piggly Wiggly and then Smith’s Food and Drug Centers as VP of Smith Foods for the Albuquerque division. In 1978, Brooks decided he wanted to own his own store and Smith’s sold him his first grocery store and John Brooks Food Town was born. 

Brooks tailored the store to the neighborhood in which it was located, including carrying ethnic products. In a 2002 interview, Brooks is quoted as saying, “We make sure we are competitive with all the big stores and at the same time provide a hometown neighborhood atmosphere.”

Born in Tyler, Texas, Brooks moved to Albuquerque in 1953, graduated from Highland High School and attended the University of New Mexico, stopping just two classes short of a degree in history in order to go into grocery store management. Brooks served in the Air National Guard in the late 1960s and was stationed in Korea.

A long-time Lobo supporter, Brooks was an honorary lifetime board member of the Lobo Club and was Lobo Club President in 1986-1987 and 1992-1993. He was also a long-time executive board member of Affiliated Foods, Inc. of Amarillo and former chairman of the Panhandle Transportation Group.

He is survived by his four children and four grandchildren. Services will be held on April 2 at the Central United Methodist Church in Albuquerque.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions go to his favorite charities: Saranam (an organization dedicated to helping families break the cycle of homelessness), S.A.F.E. House (an organization providing shelter for survivors of domestic violence) or Central United Methodist Church.

For more information, visit legacy.com.

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