Mike graduated from Nederland High School in 1984. Mike then went on to college to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. During his time at Lamar, Mike performed as part of the Lamar Marching Band known as “The Grandest Band in The Land” and was a vested trumpet player under Dr. Ornelas, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Simmons and Dr. Dyess. Mike rushed Kappa Kappa Psi in 1984 and served as President of the Gamma Zeta Chapter in 1989 and 1990. Additionally, Mike is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia in which he rushed in 1986. Following his graduation, Mike Westbrook worked as a Band Director at three different schools in the surrounding SE Texas area. Starting at Lumberton ISD, and then moving to Port Neches-Groves ISD, and finally making his way to Hardin-Jefferson ISD. Mr. Westbrook served Public Education for 29 years and served as the band director at Hardin-Jefferson for 13 years.
Mike Westbrook was an astounding trumpet player, although teaching was one of his passions, his playing ability spoke for itself. Mike performed as a member of the Symphony of Southeast Texas starting in 1987 and became a core member in 1991. His other classical project was the “Spindletop” Brass Quintet which he performed in for the better part of 20 years. Furthermore, Mike was an avid jazz trumpeter. Mike on any average weekend could be seen gigging all around Beaumont performing in the horn band “Easy” and as a member of the Remember When Orchestra.
Most importantly Mike Westbrook was a loving and thoughtful person. As a teacher, he always made it a part of his routine to check on his students and make sure that they were doing okay in their non-band related activities. More than anything that added to his jolly demeanor was his great sense of humor. Mike never had a shortage of good jokes and stories to tell to help lighten the mood of a situation. As a husband and father, he always took his love for his wife and three kids everywhere he went.Survivors include his wife, Karen Westbrook; children, Mollie Westbrook, Aaron Westbrook, and Ella Westbrook; father, Ronnie Westbrook of Nederland; siblings, Amy Nelson and her husband, Steven, of Nederland; and Stephen Westbrook and his wife, Ronna, of Jasper; mother-in-law, Barbara Cummings of Lumberton; bother-in-law, Kevin Cummings and his wife, Cindy, of Kountze; and nieces and nephews, Sarah Nelson, Robyn Nelson, Kevin Nelson, Tristan Westbrook, and Koby Cummings. He is preceded in death by his mother, Clara Westbrook; and grandparents, Eula and Ernest Smith and Jewel and Carl Westbrook.
Mr. Westbrook’s memorial will be held at a later date under the direction of Broussard’s, 490 Cemetery Road, Silsbee.