The Rev. Kevin Walter Brooksbank, an associate pastor at a Loch Raven Village Roman Catholic parish, died of a viral infection and kidney failure Sunday at St. Joseph Medical Center. He was 35.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Cockeysville, he attended Warren Elementary School and was a 1990 Dulaney High School graduate, where he played soccer and was active in dramatics.
He earned a degree in computer science at Frostburg State University, where he also played soccer and was twice awarded the Gilbert Gray Memorial Award for "exceptional work ethic on the field, an outstanding attitude toward his teammates, and a determined overall desire to play to the best of his abilities and have fun while doing it."
He had planned to take a job at a local business, but had second thoughts.
"In his last year of college, he started to question what direction his life should take," said a friend, Monsignor James Barker, pastor of St. Ignatius parish in Hickory.
For a year he worked as a groundskeeper at St. Joseph, his home parish in Cockeysville. At the end of that period, he decided to enter the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He studied at St. Mary's Seminary and University.
As a seminarian, he trained at St. Michael the Archangel in Overlea and did four years of theology study to earn a Master of Divinity degree. He worked summers at St. John in Westminster; St. Andrew by the Bay in Annapolis and at St. Dominic in Hamilton. He was ordained May 26, 2001, in the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen by Cardinal William H. Keeler.
He also developed a strong interest in Irish music and accompanied himself on the guitar as he sang Celtic ballads and folk tunes in a tenor voice. He also played alongside a fellow seminarian, the Rev. Tim Donahue. They made several compact discs together, which they sold at a local outlet. They performed for Irish societies, including the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
"He loved to celebrate the Mass and was enthusiastic about working hard to make Scripture come alive," said Monsignor Barker. "He was also diligent about making sure the liturgy was done properly and reverently."
Father Brooksbank was initially assigned as associate pastor at St. Andrew and then to Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in the Baynesville-Loch Raven Village section of Baltimore County, where he served at his death.
"Kevin was a quiet, sensitive compassionate priest who was deeply aware of the feelings of his people," said Monsignor Paul G. Cook, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Cockeysville. "He always seemed willing to work, and when there was a parish event, he was the last to leave. He'd be cleaning up."
Father Brooksbank will lie in repose from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at St. Joseph Church, 100 Church Lane in Cockeysville. Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien will offer the funeral Mass at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
Survivors include his parents, Walter and Ann Rebert Brooksbank of Cockeysville; two brothers, Bob Brooksbank of Annapolis and Tim Brooksbank of Arnold; a sister, Teri Moss of Parkville; and a nephew.