Conley Brooks was a quiet pillar in Twin Cities business and philanthropy, part of a generation of Minnesotans who believed in giving back to the community with diligence, persistence and care.
A member of the Brooks family that built Malt-O-Meal (now MOM Brands), Conley Brooks received numerous honors for philanthropy,
Born in St. Paul, Brooks led his family’s successful lumber business, Brooks Scanlon Inc., for many years, serving as chairman, CEO and board member. In fact, he never quite retired, even though the firm was sold in 1980. He kept busy with family enterprises and corporate boards despite suffering a stroke at age 89.
Brooks was immersed in the local business and philanthropic communities, serving as a board member and trustee at Carleton College, as chairman of the Minneapolis Foundation, and as trustee of Abbott Northwestern Hospital and affiliated organizations, including the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. He also was a long-standing member of the board at First National Bank of Minneapolis, now US Bank, Northwestern National Life Insurance Co. and others.
Brooks grew up in Eastcliff, his family’s home, which later became the official residence of University of Minnesota presidents. He attended St. Paul Academy, then Yale University, where he and Ken Dayton of the Dayton’s department store family worked as orderlies at a Connecticut hospital.
Brooks and his wife of nearly 68 years, Marney, traveled the world over, and he enjoyed myriad interests from photography to fancy automobiles (many of them convertibles). But he especially thrived in the company of his family, which included 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
In addition to his son Conley Jr. and daughter Sky, Brooks is survived by three other children, Marlow Brooks, Stephen B. Brooks and Markell Hapka. His wife died in 2012.