Jonathan Eric Briley came into this world on March 5, 1958, to Marie and Alexander Briley, and he departed this world on September 11, 2001.
He received his elementary and secondary education through the Mount Vernon, New York, public school system, and he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University, New York. His expertise took him into the profession of Sound Engineer for various corporations such as Arrowwood in Rye Brook, New York, The Hilton, The Marriott, and Windows On The World at the World Trade Center in New York City.
Jonathan accepted Christ at an early age. In his teenage years, he was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church, New Rochelle, New York. There, he served in the Christian Education Ministry and the Music Ministry. At the time of his death, he worshiped at First Baptist Church of Elmsford, New York, where he was ordained as a Deacon on March 11, 2001 and served as a armor bearer for his father and pastor, Rev. Alexander Briley Jr.
Jonathan, imbued with the spirit of humility, never failed to look for an opportunity to be of service. He used his skills as an Audio Engineer in churches up and down the east coast. The quiet, peaceful spirit that resided in his 6’5 ½” frame was a beacon of light and warmth that was felt by everyone who came in contact with him. His sense of humor attested to the joy of his spirit. His patience was a source of strength to everyone he met. Jonathan’s life blessed God because of the fruits of The Holy Spirit.
He fell in love with Hillary Mattox (Miss Thing), and on July 23, 1994, they were joined together in holy matrimony.
Jonathan (affectionately known as Slim by Tim and Mister by Hillary) is survived by his wife Hillary Briley; his parents, Rev. and Mrs. Alexander Briley Jr.; his brother, Alexander Briley III of Mount Vernon; his sister Gwendolyn Strand of Ft. Washington, Maryland; his sister, Joanne Briley; his brother, Timothy Briley, both of Mount Vernon; one brother-in-law, Edward Strand; one niece, Michelle Christian; one nephew, Edward Eric Strand; one great nephew, Jordan Alexander Christian; three aunts; one uncle; and a host of relatives and friends.
“The Chosen One”
by Gwendolyn Briley-Strand
Freedom is a hard bought thing
It demands a high price
It’s not bought with dust, or words or empty promises
It’s bought with one’s self
The bones, the flesh, the spirit
And once you’ve got it, you cherish it
We got to go free, or die tryin'
The family has established a scholarship in Jonathan's name. Your tax deductible contribution can be sent to:
Jonathan E. Briley Memorial Fund
PO Box 44322
Ft Washington, MD 20749-4322
or EFT 052001633003932243631
Tribute submitted by Edward L. Strand.
Sunrises and Sunsets
Every morning, Jonathan Eric Briley watched the sunrise from New York City's highest peak — the north tower's 110th floor, where he was the audio-visual technician for Windows on the World. "He'd tell me," said Gwendolyn Briley- Strand, his sister, "there was nothing like it."
Sunrises were one of Mr. Briley's many loves. Others were music, the Lord and the First Baptist Church of Elmsford, N.Y. As a boy, he played gospel music on the piano. Later, he taught himself guitar and learned jazz and rock as well. Last year, he was ordained a deacon at First Baptist — a job, said Mrs. Briley-Strand, for a humble and helpful man. He drove his father, the Rev. Alexander Briley, the pastor, to church, helped him into his robes and visited the hospital and homes of the sick and grieving. "He was," said his wife, Hillary, "one of a kind."
The Tuesday after Labor Day, he nipped down to Florida for a week with his sisters. "All we did," said Mrs. Briley-Strand, "was watch the sun rise. We took our coffee with a little Kahlúa to the beach. We relaxed and cooked. We watched the sunrise. We watched it set. It was manna from heaven."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 21, 2001.