Brooks Edward Williams, who helped expand an agriculture program at Canoga Park High School while serving as principal there, has died in Van Nuys. He was 77.
He worked 33 years for the Los Angeles Unified School District, retiring in 1976 as an area administrator in the San Fernando Valley.
He died Saturday of a heart attack, said his wife, Dorothy.
Born May 30, 1913, in Odebolt, Iowa, he moved to Van Nuys with his parents in 1919. He went to work in 1940 as a physical education teacher at North Hollywood Junior High School, now Walter Reed Junior High. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946, achieving the rank of first lieutenant.
Between 1946 and 1959, Mr. Williams was boy’s vice principal at Sutter Junior High School in Canoga Park and Birmingham High School in Van Nuys. He served as principal at Canoga Park High from 1959 to 1967, where he encouraged teachers to be more innovative and students to appreciate their education, said Blair Fictum, a former football and track coach at the school.
Mr. Williams wanted students to realize that high school was important in terms of their future, Fictum said. He was supportive of the faculty and often mingled on campus with students, Fictum said. He was instrumental in expanding the school’s agricultural program, Fictum said. In 1967, Mr. Williams left to become a school district administrator.
He was a longtime member of the Canoga Park Kiwanis Club and belonged to the Valley College Historical Society since 1985.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years; a son, Richard Williams of Davis; a daughter, Gail Storti of Glendale; a daughter-in-law, Ulrike Williams of Davis; and two granddaughters.
A memorial service was held Tuesday and burial was private. Praiswater Funeral Home in Van Nuys handled the arrangements.