Memorial service honors Lawrence Brooks, oldest WWII veteran to die at 112 in New Orleans


NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Lawrence Brooks, the nation’s oldest World War II veteran until his death at age 112 on Jan. 5, was honored Saturday, Jan. 15, at a private memorial service at the National Museum of the Second World War.

His daughter and carer Vanessa Brooks earlier this month told the Military Times that her father’s health was curvy. He’s been in and out of the local veterans’ hospital several times over the past few months, but he was always alert, enjoying the holidays and watching his beloved Saints play until the end, she said.

The National WWII Museum released a statement saying, in part, it was “deeply saddened by the loss”.

“He was a dear friend, celebrating his birthday with us every year from 2014, when he was just 105 years old. When asked the secret to his longevity, his constant advice was: ‘Serve God and be kind to people.’ We deeply feel his loss today at the Museum, and offer our condolences to his daughter Vanessa and her family,” reads Instagram.

Brooks was born on September 12, 1909 in Norwood, Louisiana.

He was drafted into the United States Army in 1940 and served with the unit of the 91st Engineer Battalion until his discharge in 1945. Brooks was awarded the Asia-Pacific Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the World War II Victory Medal. He also served in Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines.

After returning to New Orleans, he worked as a forklift operator until his retirement.

Her memorial service guest book can be signed at

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