Honoring Wendy Brooks!

Honoring Wendy Brooks!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, friends and family gathered at the Sheridan Opera House to officially honor Wendy Brooks as the Foundation’s 2017 Citizen of the Year.


Been a long time coming for the woman who changed the face of Telluride.

That is not hyperbole.

It is a stone cold fact.

Go here for the down low about Wendy’s outsized contributions to the Telluride community, including a tribute by her dear friend Jeff Price.

In Wendy’s memory the Telluride Academy has founded a scholarship fund. Go here if you would like to donate in Wendy’s honor.

Then please scroll down for yet another beautiful tribute penned by sons Demian and Dylan Brooks.

2017 Citizen of the Year Wendy Brooks

Wendy Goepel Brooks passed away March 26, 2024 at age 84 at her beachside home in Troncones, Mexico, surrounded by family and friends. Our mother was a cancer survivor from 2005, who went on to live 18 more vibrant years until succumbing to the disease in peaceful acceptance.

Wendy was a caring mother, grandmother, sister, leader and friend to many across the globe. She left the world as she lived it: On her own terms.

Wendy Brooks was born in Hackensack, NJ, June 23, 1939. Brilliance and hard work enabled her to be the first in her family to attend college, aided in part by scholarship from the Leopold Schepp Foundation. After two years at Mount Holyoke, Wendy decided to head West to finish bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UC Berkeley. She went on to pursue further doctoral work at Stanford.

While in grad school, Wendy was inspired to support Cesar Chavez and the UFW, advocating for migrant workers. That work lead to a lasting relationship first with Robert Kennedy and later with Sargent Shriver whom she helped with the US government’s “War on Poverty” program.

During her stint with Chavez, Kennedy introduced Wendy to her future husband, Dr. David Brooks. Together they founded Salud, a donations-only clinic for the under-served in California, which operated until Dr. Brooks’ retirement in 2023.

Wendy moved to Telluride in 1976 in a VW van, her three young boys in tow. She bought a house on Oak Street that became the launching pad for many future endeavors, including writing grants to establish the Telluride and Norwood medical centers; the Telluride Freestyle Ski Team; and the Telluride Science Research Center. However, Wendy’s most lasting legacy is the Telluride Academy, which she founded and directed from 1980 until her retirement in 2007. The Academy is thriving, continuing to offer outdoor education to hundreds of children every year, many on scholarship.

Wendy was honored in 2017 as Citizen of the Year by the Telluride Foundation for her game-changing contributions to the Telluride region.

Wendy Brooks endeavored to pass on the values she personified: 1. Every child has infinite potential; 2. Travel cures ignorance and fosters global friendship; 3. Choose your own path, choose your own life.

Wendy is survived by brothers, Steven and Bruce Goepel;  sons Demian and Dylan Brooks; and grandchildren Julien, Philip, Amelia, Theo, Elin and Erik. She was preceded in death by her son Darius; sister Carol (Cookie) Graff; and her parents, Walter and Louise Goepel.

A celebration of life will take place in Telluride this summer. Details soon.

1 Comment
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