BOSWELL, Ind. (WLFI) — They say to teach is to touch a life forever.
That's what Jeff Brooks did his whole life at Boswell Elementary School.
He died unexpectedly Sunday at 61 years old.
Current and former students, community members and friends will forever remember the educator as family.
"He lived and he breathed Boswell Elementary School," said the principal of Boswell Elementary School, Jeff Toll.
Take a walk in Jeff Brooks life.
Inside his classroom is positivity, inspirational quotes, photos, Jimmy Buffet memorabilia and an educator who devoted his life to fulfilling a promise to students.
"I think he was driven knowing he had the chance to make an impact in someone's life," said former student, Ben Anderson.
Jeff Brooks did that for Anderson.
"He became that second father figure," said Anderson.
Anderson was in Mr. Brooks' fifth and sixth grade class and played for him on several basketball teams.
"I wouldn't have probably done the things that I did without him," said Anderson.
Mr. Brooks taught inside of Boswell Elementary for more than 39 years keeping track and posting pictures of his students on the wall.
It was a constant reminder for them to remember their roots.
"Our motto this year for our school at Boswell is when you are here you are home," said Toll.
A home for more than 20 students per year in his classroom. One that Anderson won't ever forget.
"He saw the best in everyone and believed in everyone and would push you to be a better person," said Anderson. "You talk to anybody that knew him he would do anything for anyone he would be there for anyone."
He and his students raised more than $50,000 for Greater Lafayette Honor Flights, he took kids to Camp Tecumseh for 30 years and he treated and cared for his students like his own.
"I definitely think this was his family," said Toll. "All of his students were his family. All of the teachers were his family."
Principal Jeff Toll said Jeff Brooks was a fixture of the community, always a smile on his face and the biggest Jimmy Buffet fan.
As Buffet said it takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.
Mr. Brooks had several accomplishments in his life.
One of his most proud accomplishments was that he went to every Major League Baseball stadium.
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