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Cancer Claims Mother of Garth Brooks
Friday, August 6, 1999
The Oklahoman. Story by Tamie Ross

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The song is so ambiguous that it might be a musical tribute to his wife, his three daughters or his fans.



But Yukon native Garth Brooks recorded "It's Your Song" in honor of his mother, Colleen Carroll Brooks, as she braved months of chemotherapy, radiation treatment and surgeries.



That fight ended Friday, as cancer claimed the 70-year-old Edmond resident and mother of country music's hottest male performer.



Brooks was nothing but a heartbroken son, though, as he and his family kept a vigil by Colleen Brooks' bedside at Deaconess Hospital. At the family's request, she was classified as a confidential patient in the hospital's intensive care unit.



Her family, including husband Raymond, daughter Betsy and sons Kelly, Mike, Jim, Jerry and Garth, and Garth's wife Sandy camped in a room reserved for hospital staff.



Garth Brooks rarely left his mother's side during brief visits allowed ICU patients.



Colleen Brooks had been hospitalized in California, where Garth and other family members were spending the summer. It is not known why she was transferred back to Oklahoma in late July.



In interviews with The Oklahoman in the early 1990s, right after her son struck gold in Nashville, Tenn., on the country music charts, Brooks described herself as her son's No. 1 fan.



"He's religious, polite, educated. The kid doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, doesn't cuss," his mother said in 1991. "He's a complete package."



The former Colleen Carroll was a country singer herself in the 1950s. Like her son, she recorded under the Capitol Music label. She also regularly appeared on Red Foley's Ozark Jubilee.



Garth's wish that his mother know her impact on his life was shared with the world when he released "It's Your Song" last year.



"I've been looking for the right song to sing for my mother ever since I started making music," he said when the single was released.



"Somehow, I could never write it myself."




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