William S. Brooks, 78, of Madison, passed away Wednesday, March 8th, 2017, after a brief illness. He was born October 19th, 1938 in Rockford, Illinois.

Bill dedicated his life to studying and protecting the environment, and teaching others how to do the same. After graduating from Ripon College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology, he continued his schooling, earning a master’s degree as well as his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Upon completing his education, he returned to Ripon College and began a 40-year career as a beloved Professor of Biology, specializing in Ornithology and Ecology, sharing his vast knowledge and experience. His greatest passion, though, was studying birds, and he continued to do so long after his retirement, participating in numerous bird counts as an active member and former President of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. He also devoted countless hours to a 10-year wetland restoration project on Rush Lake, further demonstrating his commitment to preserving our natural environment. Additionally, he spent numerous summers teaching at the Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s Wilderness Field Station, developing a deep love and respect for northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters.

He is survived by his son, David (Trish) Brooks; brother, Thomas (Dodee) Brooks; sister, Catherine (Albert) Emerson; grandsons, Tyler, Logan and Jacob; granddaughters, Hollie, Aubrey, and Kenna; numerous nephews and nieces; and his companion, Jane Dennis. He was preceded in death by his parents, Levis and Nina Brooks and his son, Daniel Brooks.

May he rest in peace, knowing that he was respected and loved by so many. If you have memories you wish to share, please visit www.cressfuneralservice.com.