Dr. Gina Briefs-Elgin

Obituary
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  • "Gina is dearly missed at Highlands and especially at the..."
    - Donna Woodford-Gormley
  • "Gina had the purest heart of anybody I knew while attending..."
  • "Every time I hear my little chimes ring that Gina sent me..."
  • "I was an international student at NMHU and although I did..."
    - Sheriff Yilmaz
  • "Dear Lee, I just learned this sad news, which stops me in..."
    - William Craig Rice
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DR. GINA BRIEFS-ELGIN Dr. Gina Briefs-Elgin was born June 7, 1953 and passed away from complications due to a sudden illness on June 2, 2011. Gina was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to New Mexico in 1979. For 23 years, Gina was Professor of English at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM. She taught composition and creative nonfiction, directed the Writing Center, and worked diligently to increase student retention. She considered herself blessed to be doing exactly the work she'd dreamed of, in a place, and with students and colleagues she loved. Gina wanted to write and live her life in the places where poetry, visual beauty, and spirit intersected. Gina earned a BA cum laude from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in English from University of Virginia. The joys of her life were her husband and son, and her extended family and core of women friends. She loved teaching, empowering students to find their own voice as people, traveling, riding the train, the magical beauty of cakes, and reading Dickens. Her dream was to spend one month each year in India, tutoring strens with a Railway Children program, and working with the Buddha's Smile School. For the past two years, Gina found joy in her realized local dream, supporting youth in crisis at Youth Shelters-First Street Outreach in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Gina was preceded in death by her father, Dr. Goetz Anthony Briefs, her mother Elinor Castendyke and two brothers, Henry and Godfrey Briefs. She is survived by her husband of 30 years, L.E. Elgin, and her son, Xaver C.Elgin, both of Santa Fe, NM. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 8, at 9 a.m., at Immaculate Conception Parish Church, 811 6th Street, Las Vegas, NM 87701-4305, (505) 425-7791. Serving as Pallbearers, Selby Frame, Alexanna Padilla-Johnson, Dolores Pilar Ortega, Sienna Heinemann, Diane Appleby, Barbara Rische. Honorary pallbearers are Helen Blythe, Barbara May, and all of her students. In lieu of flowers please direct donations to Open Smile Organization. The family of Dr. Elgin have entrusted her arrangements to Nelson Funeral Home; 801 Douglas Avenue, Las Vegas, NM; (505) 425-6551.