Bill and Emily Brook Family Information

A History of Bill Brook and Emily Coleman Brook


HISTORY from Emily's writings


HISTORY from Michaelson's book


Life After the Farm

God says " Remember ye not the former things neither consider things of old. Behold I will do a new thing...I will even make a way in the wilderness. Isaiah 43: 18-19

Our family has moved many times in our married life. None were easy, but some caused me, especially, some pangs of regret. Two of these moves caused anxiety and sadness. We had lived in a home on the farm, raising our six children, seeing their happiness and reliving memories of their times of joy, sickness and sorrow. To think that this move was for the best? I felt cheated of my memories. That new home would never be like the one we left. But move, we did, and when the furniture was placed in the house, I looked out the window and it seemed that God was saying, "It's your home, a place to enjoy". I looked and, Yes, it was our home, our yard, our neighborhood. It was good.

Another move we made was similar. All of our family treasures and memories were boxed, and trucked to the new location. Would I really be content to live in this new location, in a town? I was satisfied living in the country, with no close neighbors. The same thing happened here. God was telling me to relax and get on with the settling. This was to be home for our family. Again I looked out the window, and yes, this was good, it was home.

Throughout our lifetime, we have found that when we put our trust in God, without reservations, He provides what we really need.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to be ever mindful of your power and concern for my needs. Help me to listen to your still small voice to give me comfort and help in all my activities, knowing that You will never fail me.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God is ever close, to guide our every action.


Christmas is still a wonderful time of year at our home. As we plan for various activities at home and church, we feel the magic of that first Christmas. Our church Christmas cantata and the play by the Sunday School children brings back many fond memories of the past.

This year has given us a chance to travel. In March we left for a 2 month vacation, by car, to visit the south west, west and northern states. Our first priority was to find blossoming flowers growing in the ground. Viola!! When we reached Kentucky, we succeeded. Then we ambled along south southwest thru Texas, where we visited museums and historical sites, such as JFK museum in Dallas, the Admiral Nimitz State Historical Park in Fredericksburg and the LJB Ranch in Johnson City and other interesting sites. We chugged along through New Mexico, to Arizona to visit some long time friends--Alice Thorp, from our days at Chapel Hill Church, Connie Parmenter from our Ovid Church, and Joyce and Jim Snay also from Chapel Hill. While in Arizona we visited the Biosphere, a science achievement. In California we spent some great days with nieces, nephews, and sister Leora and husband Walter. While in San Diego, we had a chance to visit the Methodist church where Emily's niece is a pastor. This church has more members than we have residents in our whole town. In Willows, CA, we visited a school chum of Bill's from grade and high school days. Jean and Ervin have a glider, so a highlight of California was going for a ride and actually piloting the glider. Emily kept her feet on the ground. Just traveling the mountains was enough height for her! We traveled the length of California, stopping at interesting sights along the way.

In Moscow, Idaho, where Roger, Pat and family were spending time on his sabbatical, we spent Easter and saw interesting features of Idaho. Leaving there, we traveled eastward on I-90 through the wide open west and plain states. A very interesting overnight stop was with a Mennonite family that enjoy hosting travelers. In South Dakota, we had to stop and see Wall Drug. What an establishment that is. In Wisconsin, we visited Ruth and Otto Kohlway, friends from Dairy Conference days. Then down to Indiana to visit Russ and Norma Zell, more long time friends.

After 8800 plus miles, home looked mighty good, but we have a whetted appetite for seeing more of our great nation.

Our children are all busy with various sport activities and jobs. (We, too, keep busy, just not working.) We have one new addition to the clan. On June 29, Gary and Tammi presented us with our 10th grandchild, Coleman Ray. Of course, we think he is wonderful.

In early July we spent some time with Natalie and Rick and children. He was just appointed to the United Methodist Church in Manton. We helped pack some of their dishes, Traverse City. Later we went to Manton to help unpack. They hosted our family gathering on Labor Day weekend.

In early October, we again hit the road, headed to the upper peninsula, visiting the Shipwreck Museum at White Fish Point, Tahquamenon Falls and then on to Bill's sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Alan Koepsell, at over Munising. In the Keweenaw we visited Emily's sister and brother-in-law, Wilma and Keith Baldwin.

In late October, we were with Brian and Judi in Kalamazoo, who are now beginning a new business, raising Llamas. What beautiful animals they are, and so calm. We were told emphatically that they DO NOT spit, bite or kick.

As this year swiftly draws to a close, we are truly thankful for good health and the opportunity to serve our Lord and our community in various ways. Merry Christmas to all, and a beautiful new year.


Christmas, that magical time, is fast speeding our way. Choir rehearsals, cookie baking, Christmas music, snow flakes, all are part of this season. As we write this letter, many images float through our minds--families that we do not often see, friends from many far away places, the fun and enjoyment of all of you are cherished memories woven into the tapestry of our lives.

ations and trips, seeing parts of our country and world.

February saw us flying to the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean for a week in the sun. Our sister, Helen, was in the Peace Corp there. What a weather shock we had. We left Detroit in -20 degrees and arrived in St. Lucia five hours later, to sunny 80 degrees. The island and its people were delightful, poor but clean. We experienced many non-tourist sights and foods, such as soursop, (which makes a wonderful drink), breadfruit, plantians, green boiled bananas, and tamarand juice. Restaurant foods were very good, but different.

In September we took off for northern Michigan, visiting sisters Judy and Allen in Munising, Wilma and Keith in Dollar Bay (Keweenaw Peninsula) and Helen in Ashland, Wisconsin, (she was back home afte finishing her Peace Corp assignment.)

In October, we traveled south and east, visiting Gary, Tammi and Coleman in Worthington, OH, before heading east to West Virginia to visit a friend, Gegee Tabb, who attended Dairy Conferences with us over the years. We delighted in the beautiful colors of fall in the hills and mountains there. Gegee's expertise with quilting made Emily anxious to get home and start sewing again.

These trips also gave us a chance to travel all of Michigan from Upper Michigan down to the southern state line within a month. In Canton, OH we toured the Football Hall of Fame--interesting to even Emily, who knows very little about football!

July gave us a new experience, vacationing without a camper. We rented a lake front cottage at Bitely Lake, near Big Rapids. We had two grandchildren with us for three days, which made it more fun. Fishing and swimming was good.

In August Bill was "drafted" to be a ringmaster at the 11th annual Llama Fest in Kalamazoo. It was fun. Brian and Judi showed "Silk Stockings" and "Obsession:, two of their llamas.

In September, most of the family spent Labor Day Weekend in Manton with Natalie, Rick and family. The town has a big Harvest Festival, complete with midway and parade.

This year made us begin to feel older. Both of us had a chance to attend our 50th High School Reunions, at Haslett and Bath. We enjoyed reminiscing with our former classmates.

Thanksgiving this year was with our whole family, 23 of us, including 10 grandchildren. We feel so fortunate to be blessed with such a wonderful family. Each family gathering we have makes us appreciate what the Lord has given us.

Now that Christmas is close at hand, we wish to extend our warmest greetings to each and all of you. May this new year meet your greatest expectations, with joy, peace, contentment, knowing that our Lord will be with you all.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Christmas time, with the wonders of the season, the joys of family, church activities and other reminders of Christmas, is here. Of course, we have no snow as yet, just COLD and sunny skies. Nevertheless we are gearing up to celebrating one of the great times of our church and our family life.

We have enjoyed our time spent following our grandkids in their school activities--football, swimming, band, cross country, as well as T-Ball and softball games. With three schools involved, we keep moving.

APRIL - Bill had the opportunity of attending Promise Keepers, held at the Silverdome in Pontiac. 72,000 men reaffirmed their commitment to the Lord. An inspiration to those who met there as well as us at home who listened to their reports!

JUNE - A big event in our lives--making us feel that we are aging! Three of our grandchildren graduated from high school, receiving honors of various sorts. We were very fortunate to be able to attend both Graduation Ceremonies--St. Johns at 2 p.m. and Haslett at 4 p.m. The twins, Jeffery and Jeremy have chosen different schools. Jeffery is going to Cornerstone College in Grand Rapids. Jeremy is at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. In September Jessica went to Germany to spend a year with their former exchange student at Haslett. She will study at her host sister's high school for the year, improving her German and learning more about Germany. What an opportunity for Jessica.

JULY - our youngest grandchild, Coleman, had a 2nd birthday celebration at Worthington, OH.

AUGUST -Emily's sister and brother-in-law from California visited here. We had a Coleman reunion at sister Harriet's during that visit. Four of our sisters were present, as well as nieces and nephews that were able to come. A niece, Stephanie and her two boys came from Canada. We went to Kalamazoo to see the 6 horse hitch, which is sponsored by Rehman Publication "Reminisce" magazine. What a wonderful show of horsemanship. These monster Belgium horses were able to pivot around while pulling a wagon filled with people. Guess they liked to show off for people!

SEPTEMBER - The U.P. and Wisconsin beckoned us. We visited sister Helen and son Lee and wife Judy on their farm. Bill enjoyed getting a little nostalgia in the barn during milking time! They had added a vegetable and herb growing and sales venture to their dairy farm business. Their new 14x90' greenhouse with drip irrigation helps lengthen the growing season. They sell at farm markets locally. I thought I'd like a green house, but not that big. We toured the area around Porcupine Mountains, saw Lake of the Clouds and Ontonagan on our way to sister Wilma and Keith's home at Dollar Bay, in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Leaving there, we visited Bills' sister Judy and Allan on Sand Lake, near Shingleton. More sightseeing took us to Grand Sable Banks and Dunes and Grand Marias "on our way" to home to join the "Trolls" below the bridge.

OCTOBER - The new addition to our Public Library was finally started, amid a few setbacks. Bill, as President of the board, has been busy overseeing the project, answering numerous questions of the "side-walk" superintendents--all of whom seem to know the best way to proceed. When finished, it will provide almost double the space for patrons to use.

As all of you friends who have retired know, we had more free time while we were working--but love the busy life we now have. Sewing projects, wood-working, and other crafts, as well as volunteerism, have left little time to sit and "vegetate". We also spend some time with our children--keeping up on their activities. We now have more Llama "grandchildren". One of Brian and Judi's Llamas had a new little one recently.

As Christmas greeting start filling our mailbox, we reflect on you, our friends and the memories we have. They bring a warm glow. We feel very fortunate and blessed. Yes, our life is full and overflowing.

As we remember the true meaning of this Holy Season, our prayer for all of you is a healthy and happy new year, filled with challenges for each of you.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to each of you.


View Old Galleries