“I can honestly say from the depths of my heart, I desire only to live my days in the total will of God, pleasing God, that's my prayer."- Tony Westbrooks
Anthony “Tony” Wardell Westbrooks’ life was etched with creativity, servitude, a passion for evangelism, and the occasionally awkward “Dad Joke” (also called “Tony-T’s” by his children). Born March 31, 1960, to Wardell and Vearis Westbrooks in Richmond, California, Tony was the oldest of four children. A graduate of El Cerrito High School, he was an elite wrestler and had an infectious personality. He received Christ at an early age as a member of Ever Ready Baptist Church in Richmond, Ca. During this time Tony recalls, “I had an overwhelming passion to share God’s word with everyone.” He was later licensed in ministry at North Richmond Missionary Baptist Church serving as an associate minister. On March 26th, 1983, Tony was joined in union with Karen Daily, and from this union, they welcomed three children, Geneva, Rochelle, and Perez.
Tony was a “Jack of all Trades.” He was a skilled carpenter, published author, personal health and fitness coach, spent 4 years as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines, was the creator of a variety of health tonics, and even dabbled in broadcasting. Unbeknownst to many, he also spent some time as a bodybuilder, music producer, and rapper (yes, rapper). His record label, Jus’ Kickin’ It records produced such self-proclaimed "hits" as San Quentin Don’t Play and Mamma, I love you. Tony’s heart, however, was tethered to ministry.
“If you were to ask me what brings me the greatest joy in the Kingdom of God, I would reply, ministering to youth and young adults” -Tony Westbrooks
In the early 90’s Tony was ordained an associate minister at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, later becoming Staff Youth Minister. He led weekly outreach events within the Oak Park community (“Friday Night Hype”), weekly bible studies, countless plays, and youth rallies. At this time, he also worked in outreach through “Youth for Christ”. He continued within youth ministry at Center of Praise Ministries in Sacramento, Ca, and later, Progressive Baptist Church in Stockton, Ca. Tony operated within this calling until his passing, creating unique online devotionals as an “Old School Youth Pastor.”
Within Regional Transit, Tony continued to pour into the lives of others. He believed God placed him within his position to be a light within his community as he had the unique opportunity to reach a variety of people from all walks of life. He once said, “This is my pulpit, what gives me purpose when coming to work is the opportunity to pour love into someone’s life, and encourage or motivate them in some way…”
Tony married Lori Everhart on September 29th, 2018, at The House Church in Modesto, Ca where they were active in ministry. This included feeding and ministering to the homeless, single and married person counseling, and teaching New Members Class. They were lovingly called team “ToLo” by friends and family. Tony was known to all for his kindness, generosity, and willingness to share the love of Christ.
He leaves his memories to be cherished and mourned by his wife, Lori Everhart-Westbrooks, children; Geneva White (Lynell), Rochelle Westbrooks and Perez Westbrooks, his step-children; MJ Brown and Danielle Mendy, his mother, Vearis Westbrooks, siblings; Mark Westbrooks (Angela), Trina Westbrooks, Gayla Westbrooks-Mitchell (Kenney). Grandchildren; Jayda Burton, Ohana White, Taj White, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Tony was preceded in death by his father, Wardell Westbrooks.