Former Voice News employee, Doreen Ayala- Brooks, died suddenly at the age of 46. Her funeral was at Mt. Rubidoux SDA Church and she was buried at Riverside National Cemetery last week. On July 4, 1970, Doreen Ayala-Brooks was born to Jose Ayala and Nilda (nee Pacheco) Ayala, at Brooklyn Hospital in New York City. She was the youngest of three children.
Her family moved to Puerto Rico when she was six months old. Growing up, Doreen was so skinny that her nickname was “Olive Oyl,” a character from the cartoon Popeye.
In 1978, her family returned to Brooklyn. After graduating from high school in 1986, Doreen worked part-time and attended college at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn. She majored in Travel and Tourism. Doreen also worked for a few years as a Dental Assistant.
In 1991, while working part-time as a clerk on Governors Island, U.S. Coast Guard military base in New York, Doreen met her future husband, Glenn, whom she fondly referred to as “Papito.” Glenn was serving on Active Duty in the Coast Guard. Doreen and Glenn dated until 1993, when Glenn was discharged from the Coast Guard, and decided to return to California along with his son, Hasaan, from a previous marriage.
In 1994, after engaging in a long-distance relationship, Doreen and Glenn decided it would be best if she moved to California. She left her family and friends in New York City and slowly adjusted to the laid-back lifestyle of California, so unlike the fast-paced city where she grew up. As a proud “Bouricua,” who loved Puerto Rican food and culture, Doreen initially missed the various dishes she grew up eating, and missed dancing Salsa. Over time, she would grow to love living in California, especially because of the weather.
Doreen worked for years as a receptionist at the Black Voice Newspaper. She also worked as a clerk for the County of Riverside, Child Support Division. She eventually decided to return to the dental field. She found work at SmileCare Dental as a receptionist, and was eventually promoted to Front-Office Supervisor. She also worked at Gentle Dental as a Treatment Coordinator.
In February of 2000, Doreen gave birth to a baby girl, Jazmin Imani Brooks. Doreen was quite the doting mother. She was very proud of her daughter, always sought ways to make her happy, and provided advice and support. Doreen was also very fond of her step-son, Hasaan, whom she protected and adored.
Doreen spent a great amount of time with her husband—they were always together; they never argued or distanced themselves from one another.
Doreen was very loyal to her family and friends. She did not believe in being pretentious. She had a way of letting others know how she felt without being disrespectful. She had an infectious laugh that those who knew her will never forget.
Doreen enjoyed dancing Salsa, going to the gym, spending time with her family, dining out, going to the movies and the beach, and listening to music. Her favorite colors were beige and brown. She loved life and lived it to the fullest. She was outgoing and could always found in a good mood. She normally greeted those she knew with a warm embrace. Doreen, often called “Dora,” was the epitome of kindness, grace, and class. She was truly one of a kind. Everyone who knew her, loved her.
Doreen leaves to celebrate her life and legacy her husband Glenn “Cito” Brooks, daughter Jazmin Imani Brooks, step-son Hasaan Rasheed Brooks, mother Nilda Pacheco Ayala, sister Jeannette Carrasco, and a host of loving family members and friends.