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James Ira Briggs Sr.


1931 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
James Ira Briggs Sr. Obituary
James Ira Briggs, Sr., 84

James Ira Briggs, Sr., 84, a lifetime resident of Hot Springs, died Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Mountain Home. The youngest of 3 children, he was born September 12, 1931 to the late John Berry and Allie B (Dement) Briggs. James graduated from Hot Springs High School in 1949. He married Frances Elizabeth Kidd on June 10, 1950.

James was employed by the Majestic Hotel from 1951 - 1980, beginning as a painter and eventually becoming Director of Maintenance. In 1980 he joined the staff of St. Joseph's Regional Health Center at the original Whittington Avenue campus as the Administrative Assistant for Plant Services and Special Projects. He was later promoted to Vice President Plant Services, spearheading the land purchase, building design, construction and move to the new hospital facility. James retired from St. Joseph's in 1996. During his tenure at St. Joseph's, he was elected President of the Arkansas Association of Hospital Engineering for the 1986-1987 term. He also served on the Advisory Committee for Health Care Facility Engineering Technology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for 3 years.

James grew up in the Church of God, with multiple generations of the Briggs family being very active in the Oaklawn Church. He served on numerous church committees during his lifetime, including the Board of Trustees, Building Committee, Finance Committee, Pastor Search Committee, Snow Springs Campground Committee, Quarterback Club and many more. James' faith led him to believe in service to both his church and his fellow man.

James' greatest joys were his wife Frances, his 5 children, his 10 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. An avid hunter and fisherman, he was late to his own wedding because the fish were biting. He loved woodworking and handcrafting furniture. Though known for his dry wit and storytelling, James will be most remembered for being more interested in others than in himself.

James was preceded in death by his parents, John and Allie Briggs, his sister Beryl Briggs Ridgeway Krause, his brother John Berry Briggs and his son Thomas Berry Briggs.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Frances; son James I Briggs, Jr (Robin), daughter Nanette Woodsome (Tim), daughter Janniece Arnold (Dallas), son John Briggs, daughter-in-law Cheryl Briggs (widow of Thomas); ten grandchildren, Samantha Woodsome Pantenburg (Brett), Tyler Woodsome, J Ira Briggs III, Melissa Briggs, Nyssa Briggs, Sarah Arnold Laird (Luke), Amy Briggs, Jenna Briggs, Ashley Arnold, and Rachel Arnold; and great-grandchildren Caitlynn and Emma Pantenburg.

Visitation will be at 1:30 pm Saturday, April 2nd followed by a memorial service at 2pm at Oaklawn Church of God in Hot Springs. Arrangements are under the direction of Conner Family Funeral Home & Cremation Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to UAMS - Neurosurgery Movement Disorders, Account: 30012771. Checks payable to: The UAMS Foundation Address: Institutional Advancement, 4301 West Markham Street, #716, Little Rock, AR 72205 or online at www.giving.uams.edu - click on the Ways to Give link and choose Memorial or Tribute Gifts.
Published in Baxter Bulletin from Mar. 25 to Mar. 26, 2016
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